Instagram is currently testing an update which hides the number of likes a post receives.
People belong to one of two camps: the “oh my god yay so good for our mental health” camp or the “our lives are over” camp.
Basically, the whole world has collectively lost its mind.
Personally, I’m indifferent – checking the number of likes a friend or model or dog account received on their latest upload was never a concern for me. Sure, I saw the number and registered them but it wasn’t a point of comparison: I care more about how many likes my own posts get than other peoples, and I can still check that.
On the other hand, I’m acutely aware of why Instagram is trialling this update: it’s a strategy play. By hiding likes, Instagram is forcing users to engage with posts in different, quantifiable ways. I.e. to comment on them. Commenting ultimately generates more data that Instagram can mine, which gives them more power over our souls.
I also understand people’s want to see likes, especially people whose life and work revolve around using social media. Likes are the easiest way to quantify your online success.
So if you’re still desperate to see that like count, then I have good news for you: you still can.
Instagram had forgotten to update their desktop version which means you can still see the number of likes on a post when you use your computer.
I can just imagine all of the people in Instagram HQ wondering why their desktop traffic has spiked.