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Why did Instagram remove the likes?

A test hides the amount of likes of a post

Why did Instagram remove the likes? A test hides the amount of likes of a post

The news was anticipated by Mark Zuckerberg at the Facebook Developer Conference at the end of April in San Jose, California. Then the test started in Canada. And now also in Italy. Instagram is removing likes. More precisely, the social media is testing (a warning will appear to the users involved) the new layout that hides the total number of likes obtained by a single post. The heart-shaped button will not be removed and you can always put your approval in front of the content, but only the user who shared the post on Instagram will know the level of success of that image.

Tara Hopkins, Head of Public Policy EMEA at Instagram explains:

We want to help people to focus on the photos and videos they share, not how many likes they get. We want Instagram to be a place where people feel comfortable expressing themselves. We are now rolling the test out to more countries so we learn more from our global community and see how this can benefit people's experiences on Instagram.

The idea behind the project is to eliminate the sheep effect, which drives users to like content just because others have done it, but also to induce users to be more authentic, encouraging them to share even those contents that they would not have posted before because they would not be judged on the basis of the likes received. The director of policy of Facebook Australia and New Zealand, Mia Garlick, has, in fact, reiterated:

We hope this test will remove the pressure of how many likes a post will receive, so you can focus on sharing the things you love. This change can help people focus less on likes and more on telling their story. 

If the experiment works, it will start a revolution for the world of web marketing and above all influencer marketing.  Without the number of likes, the companies that are looking for figures to collaborate with will no longer rely primarily on the popularity of IG users, but on other factors such as the quality of shared content and real communication skills. The reactions have been mixed, divided between those who appreciate this change and those who hope that things will return as they were before, including like counts.