Something we all look for on social media to help boost our performance and convert that performance into revenue, be that through sales or influence, is engagement. Engagement falls from several factors and one of those is likes. The problem that has come from this of late is the damage caused by likes on people’s mental health—feeling inadequate when a post doesn’t receive as many likes as they would perhaps like or in comparison with peers. Instagram, headed up by Facebook, has recognised this and has taken a bold step to relieve some of the pressure caused by the number of likes an image may attract.
Instagram now lets us hide the publicly visible like count on a post. Instagram said the reason behind this was to “depressurize people’s experience” on the platform, following a series of trials that have ended up with a global roll-out. The fact now stands that we no longer stand openly in comparison to other accounts and, therefore, perhaps the stigma associated with the feeling of under-performance can fade, giving people a better user experience when posting and leaving the metrics in place behind the scenes where, perhaps, they belong. The performance of a post is determined by those metrics, but there’s no real reason for them being on public display.
There are two ways to hide the like count of our posts: The first is to do it retrospectively, tapping the three dots in the top-right corner of a post and selecting Hide Like Count.
The second method relates to future posts, which we do in our settings by tapping on the three lines in the top right corner of your page, selecting Settings, then Privacy, and then Posts, and then turning on Hide Like and View Counts.
Our performance absolutely does affect our ability to monetise social media platforms but, as I’ve mentioned, this metric doesn’t necessarily need to be public, and if we take a step to reduce the negative aspects associated with engagement that result in detrimental effects on mental health, we can create a better platform for all. I, for one, have decided to hide my like counts.