The new feature makes one wonder if social media platforms are forcing brands to pay attention to metrics that matter (as opposed to vanity metrics) when it comes to choosing influencers for their campaigns.

In a Twitter thread, Instagram said that it wanted users to focus on photos and videos, not the number of 'likes'. Basically, the platform is circling back to more authentic content.

Many users are worried about influencer jobs hanging in the balance with the new move, when in reality it would be great for brands and influencers alike. Brands have measured influence with popularity for far too long, and finally they’ll be forced to consider the metrics that really matter — engagement and impressions.

Hiding 'likes' will help curb the proliferation of influencer fraud on Instagram, whereby users buy followers and 'likes' in order to appear more influential than what they are. If 'likes' are hidden, there will be no need for this.

Furthermore, if this feature is here to stay, the popular influencers with little to no influence will no longer get booked by the big brands purely because they get thousands of 'likes'. Rather those with resonance, authenticity and real content will rise to the top. Quality engagement will become hugely important, although it already should be.

Over the last year or so, we’ve already seen a shift from portraying ‘perfect’ lives to being more open about real life on Instagram. Users are hungry for content that they can relate to — content that doesn't make them feel bad about not having everything together or not living a picture-perfect life. Maybe this is the next step to a healthier and more relatable social media platform.

It’s also a great move in terms of mental health for the youth. So often, the distress of not getting enough 'likes' causes them to delete content because they feel as if it’s not good enough.

It may sound trivial, but teenagers aren’t logical, and something that small could, and has, tipped many over the edge. By hiding 'likes', no one will have a benchmark to live up to.

The test has rolled out in the following countries:
  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
For more information, visit You can also follow Nfluential on Twitter.