Instagram has been testing the private likes on the platform since 2019, and since then, it is rolling it out to more users. But this feature is again controversial, and some users are not happy with that.
The hiding likes made their way to the top of the news this week again. This time, Instagram chief Adam Mosseri stepped in and made an announcement on its personal Twitter account about the problem.
According to Mosseri, the private likes feature is unintentionally rolled out to more groups of users, so they have not been able to see the number of likes on their content.
Instagram’s technical team acted quickly and solved this problem. However, the widespread release of this feature has caused a great deal of concern among Instagram influencers.
Focus on the quality instead of likes
Instagram’s justification for hiding likes is that it asks users to focus on the quality of their content and not focus on the number of likes.
“It’s because we want people to worry a little bit less about how many likes they’re getting on Instagram and spend a bit more time connecting with the people they care about,” Mosseri noted on Facebook’s F8 conference in 2019.
This seems a pure purpose, but highly-noticed users and influencers are at the forefront of opposing this feature. The idea of private likes has been controversial since day one. Influencers want to see the likes on the content because those numbers judging factors for their account’s popularity. Also, this might affect their advertising revenues.
Apart from revenues, the number of likes may create a sense of inner satisfaction in some users. There is tight competition on social media for getting more likes, and likes are credible evidence that proves an account’s popularity.
Highly-noticed users and influencers are really important for Instagram. They bring new users and make users stay on the app. So Instagram does not want to make them unhappy and wants to bring private likes as a choice to users.
Users can activate or deactivate the private likes
The Instagram chief believes the idea of private likes is “clearly polarizing,” and they want to give users a choice. It means users who want to see the likes can easily have it, and users who don’t want it can avoid it.
The methodology of executing this idea is not clear yet, and nothing has been announced. But Instagram may add a bunch of new items to the Setting page that lets users activate or deactivate the feature. Recently, Instagram has been making some changes to the platform, like changing the Reels and adding keyword search.