Instagram is nixing publicly viewable like-counts from posts in the US, in a test that follows a similar rollout this past Spring in Canada and a few other markets.
What's been fascinating to us up North is getting to see how the reactions compare between the neighbo(u)ring countries. So far, the pattern is similar and breaks down into three vocal categories:
• Group A: You can’t take our likes away! We've built a business on this stuff. How will anyone know of our success?
• Group B: This is a good start toward fixing psychological triggers in social media
• Group C: What's the big deal?
Where we've seen the dust settle in Canada is mostly toward a homogenized Group C, and we're already starting to see a calming of the storm in the States.
What's our stance on the like-less Gram? It gets a Hell Yes from us, not only for potential benefits to mental wellness, but also because it forces us to consider other metrics in our digital health, with likes (still visible to the publisher, by the way) providing a guide for how our content is hitting the mark with our audience.
Here's where we believe Instagram is getting off track:
This past week, we've started seeing posts annotated by text such as "Liked by Jane Doe and thousands/millions of others". This misses the entire point of hiding like-counts and creates a pass/fail measure of success, depending on whether a post reaches that milestone. For those of us who have been around for a while, there was previously a lot of chatter (and memes, naturally) about crossing the 10-likes threshold, and this is a regression toward a similar endzone.
Check out our in-depth take on Canada's rollout on our blog [link in bio]
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