Next week, Instagram is set to begin hiding like counts on posts in the US, according to this TechCrunch piece. The move is expected to hurt influencers on the platform, as initial tests in other countries showed that likes on posts went down when the counts were not displayed. The influencer economy is supposed to be a big part of what drives the platform. The speculation is that anything that hurts those influencers and their ability to use Instagram to build their businesses too badly will be rolled back.
I’m not completely bought into the idea that influencers are as strong a driver of engagement on Instagram as they are assumed to be, but to be fair, I haven’t looked deeply at the data. However, I know that the move will be good for teenagers who view posts as popularity contests and delete photos when they don’t achieve a certain like count, for fear of embarrassment. I appreciate the fact that those who are steering the Instagram ship are taking steps that account for the mental health of its users.