Instagram might start hiding likes and this is what influencers have to say


Yesterday it was revealed that Instagram might start hiding likes, after the testing prototype was leaked.

Instagram said it wanted 'your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get. During this test, only the person who shares a post will see the total number of likes it gets.'

If the new design gets rolled out, it means only the poster will see the amount of likes his or her post gets, but followers will just see that the post was liked, but not how many times. It's common practice to delete posts when they don't immediately get enough likes, so this would put a stop to it.

The platform hopes that this will reduce herd mentality, and will prompt users to post more creative content. It's also likely to reduce competition between users on Instagram, which has been proved to affect mental health.

But how will this affect influencers, who often secure paid posts based on the amount of likes they get, as well as engagement?

I spoke to a couple who are surprisingly positive about it. Alex Light, who currently has 41.6k followers, told me, 'I actually think it will be a good way to shift the focus from likes to good content.'

'Influencers get so laser-focused about the amount of likes that their post gets (because that's the instant, visible marker of a post's success) that they create their content according to what gets liked. If likes are scrapped, we can instead concentrate on creating better content that is meaningful to the individual, hopefully making Instagram a more 'authentic' place,' she adds.

Brighton-based Hannah Crosskey (107k followers) agrees. 'I wouldn't mind either way if they do roll it out, as I think it'll allow us to be more creative rather that shooting a certain way, with a certain filter just for engagement'.

Instagram confirmed it was testing ways to reduce pressure on its platform, but didn't say whether this would definitely be rolled out. It would certainly be interesting to see the focus shift on authentic engagement, rather than likes which we know can be bought easily.

Penny Goldstone

Penny Goldstone is the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, covering everything from catwalk trends to royal fashion and the latest high street and Instagram must-haves.

Penny grew up in France and studied languages and law at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris before moving to the UK for her MA in multimedia journalism at Bournemouth University. She moved to the UK permanently and has never looked back (though she does go back regularly to stock up on cheese and wine).

Although she's always loved fashion - she used to create scrapbooks of her favourite trends and looks, including Sienna Miller and Kate Moss' boho phase - her first job was at, sourcing the best deals for everything from restaurants to designer sales.

However she quit after two years to follow her true passion, fashion journalism, and after many years of internships and freelance stints at magazines including Red, Cosmopolitan, Stylist and Good Housekeeping, landed her dream job as the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK.

Her favourite part of the job is discovering new brands and meeting designers, and travelling the world to attend events and fashion shows. Seeing her first Chanel runway IRL at Paris Fashion Week was a true pinch-me moment.