Hidden Likes: What Instagram’s Newest Feature Might Mean for You and Your Brand

As a small- to medium-sized business owner, we’re almost positive that you have at least one commercial social media account. If you’re like most businesses out there, it’ll probably be Facebook, right?

Many businesses these days are taking advantage of various social media platforms to increase their engagement with current and potential customers, and Instagram is arguably the second most popular social giant out there.

In May, Instagram began testing a new feature that hid all likes on photos and videos. You might be wondering what the point of this feature is and how it affects your brand. Our McAllen digital marketing agency wants to explore the topic at length below.

What it Is

At Facebook’s recent annual conference, Facebook F8, the feature was described at length by CEO Mark Zuckerberg. “As you scroll through your feed, there are no like counts. You can see who liked a photo or video, you can tap through to see (the list), and if you have the time you can add them all up yourself.”

If you’re worried about being unable to see the “Like” counts at all, don’t worry, you can. However, some extra taps on the screen will be required to do so. You’ll have to tap on “Others” under your post in order to see the total number of likes.

Now, you’re probably wondering, “How will this affect my business account?”

What This Could Mean for Your Brand

Although this new feature isn’t being tested in the United States, and Instagram has yet to announce if it ever will be, there might be a positive way at looking at this change. According to Taylor Loren of Later.com, this feature should be seen as a positive since the absence of likes will now mean that people will more likely focus on your post’s content instead of its popularity. It also means you’ll be free to post more often without being limited to your best times to post.

At Imagine It Studios, our social media strategists had their own opinions on the matter.

Ruby Delgado had this to say:

“I think it’s good for personal reasons but maybe not so much for brands since people take note of how many likes a post gets. Likes undoubtedly influence people to engage with posts. On the other hand, a lack of likes could motivate them to comment more.”

Dan Morales chimed in with his opinion:

“As long as businesses can still see the number of followers they have, impressions made, and their page views, then I think hidden likes wouldn’t have much of an effect on engagement. In fact, I think this move would force companies to become more creative with their posts to fill any void caused by drop offs due to an absence of likes.”

Suzanne Hennessy also offered her view on the subject:

“I can see the feature working for personal and small business accounts, but I think for larger accounts or those with specific content, it might be a problem. However, I feel this change might drive brands to create better and more unique content that will generate interaction through comments and shares instead of just likes.”

Helping You Make a Digital Impact

So, how exactly can this type of change affect your business’ presence on Instagram should it ever be applied to your account? At Imagine It Studios, we would help you make that transition seamlessly, so know that our social media strategists will be on top of it. If you need help with your business’ social media presence, then reach out to our McAllen digital marketing agency today to learn what we can do for you.