To you and I, who may not necessarily need the big double-tap and view counts, the new feature Instagram is testing out might not be a big deal. But for the new-age influencer marketer, this kind of change could affect the way they conduct business and make profits, for good.
Instagram, developed by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, and owned by Facebook Inc., just announced its decision to carry out a preliminary test which will hide all likes and views on posts. As a user, you will be able to see your numbers, but followers won’t have access to that information.
This test is to be run in seven countries including Australia, Brazil, and Canada. Instagram told TIME that they are “expanding the test to a number of countries to get a better sense of how the experience resonates with Instagram’s global community,” further explaining that they want to shift user focus to the content posted, rather than the likes you can accumulate.
“We want your friends to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get,” Instagram said in a tweet. “You can still see your own likes by tapping on the list of people who’ve liked it, but your friends will not be able to see how many likes your post has received.”
While it’s not definite that this move will be made, the company hopes to use this to study changes in user patterns and behaviour. “We’re looking forward to learning more about how this change might benefit everyone’s experience on Instagram.”
Will this be a good move for mental health (as one tweeter put it: “it frees everyone up to be more creative again, without a scoreboard dangling over your head”), or the death of influencer marketing? Only time will tell.