It’s one social media update that’s been bubbling along longer than Tik Tok has been around… The rumour that Instagram was going to remove likes from its users’ feeds so they’re only visible to the user themselves and now give them the option to hide likes on other users’ content as well. What’s more, the trial has been extended to Facebook. Source: Social Media Today

While in theory this is a fantastic way to combat cyber bullying and trolling and is commended for ensuring the end consumer has a better social media experience, for those in the social media industry it throws up a lot of questions.

What does it mean for brands?

What does it mean for influencers who’ve built their businesses on Instagram?

And also, what does it mean for Instagram fans of all ages who’ve grown up loving the channel?

We asked our Brazenites to see what their tenpenneth was:

“Giving control back to users is one thing social media platforms rarely do, and this is a big step! Will everyone embrace the mystery of what their like count is to their followers? I doubt it, but those that do may find themselves being more creative and experimental, as no longer being constrained by the number their content generates. Also, there are many reports of how social media impacts our mental health, this feature may be a step in the right direction for those feeling the pressures of living in a virtual world.”

Matthew Cooper – Senior Social Media Account Manager


“I think it’s a really bold move that will benefit the everyday Instagrammer, but it will make things less transparent when we’re searching for influencers to work with. It will make it more time consuming going back and forth to secure insights and some influencers might not even track their likes any more and so will have fewer metrics to compare. They could share swipe up counts from similar brand work which may mean we see a rise of micro and macro influencers with specific niches, such as those who only work with interiors brands, vegan food companies or alcohol brands for example. This rise in the specialist influencer may see a list of comments as being the new ‘like’ so will they eventually be turned off too?”

Emma Trimble – Associate Director

“Whilst the average user won’t be too worried about how many likes each and every post they make gets, having the option to turn off how many likes your content gets to other users on the platform may actually allow people to share more of what they want to, without fear of judgement.”
“Hopefully this opens the door to more unique and creative content on Instagram, rather than copycat posts ‘guaranteed’ to do well because other people have already had success with them.”

Nathan Waddell – Social Media Account Manager

“Having the choice to remove likes can be a freedom for a lot of people. It’s offering the choice of no longer having the pressure of feeling that you need to get over a certain amount of likes for your content to be good, depending on likes will mean you won’t end up sharing what’s true to you. When this pressure isn’t there anymore, it might now help people to start sharing whatever they want or what comes naturally without worrying how many likes (if any) it will generate. Relax and enjoy your own content.”

Ellie Cutler-Shepherd – Social Media Account Executive

“This trial is a great step forward in relieving peer pressure users can often face in feeling they need to achieve a certain number of likes every time they post. The move takes Instagram back to a place where the focus is solely on users sharing content they like in a social space that’s free of any kind of public metric that measures and subsequently deems popularity.”

Rachael Milligan – Account Director


“Removing likes might seem like a small change for those of us who have been using social media for years. However, for newer and potentially younger users that aren’t as experienced in dealing with the peer pressure and high expectations that comes with social media – it could make a massive difference.”

Harry Jarvis – Senior Account Executive

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