The Social Minute - Episode 3 - The Disappearance of the Like Count on Instagram

Is the measurement of success on social media equivalent to the number of likes on a post?  If that is the case, why is Instagram testing out the removal of like counts? On July 17th Instagram tweeted out that they are currently running a test that hides the total number of likes and video views for some people in the following countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Japan, and New Zealand.  

To date that tweet has over 7.5 thousand comments, 25 thousand retweets, and over 89 thousand likes.  This initial assessment allows me to evaluate the validity of this tweet. So how does Instagram assume that companies, specifically, will be able to monitor their Instagram impact without these numbers.  Dare I say, we may actually go back to the days of #authenticmarketing and focus on the “social” in social media marketing?

For those impacted by the removal of like and view counts, what individuals are now seeing is text that says this post was liked by directly under the image or video.  The assumption here, is that this will foster a true social experience and build community.

Facebook Australia and New Zealand director of policy, said in a statement.

The goal is that users feel less judged and to see "whether this change can help people focus less on likes and more on telling their story".

Which leads me to believe that Instagram may be using the mental health support angle as a way to boost Instagram Stories and increase paid marketing to support posts interaction and engagement.  This would seem plausible since Instagram said the test would not affect measurement tools for businesses, plus users can actually still see the list of people who liked other people's content by clicking into it.

So is this test actually removing pressure, or increasing it?

Thank you for joining me on today's Social Minute.