Instagram Update: Option to Hide Likes

Our thumbs are now accustomed to double-tapping on Instagram...but what happens if that no longer means anything? We’ve known for a while now that Instagram was testing the removal of Likes altogether, but it seems they’ve come to a conclusion…

Users will have the option to hide their post Likes from the public.

The goal of Instagram is for users to focus on the media that they, and others, are sharing and not the number of Likes that may set them apart from more popular accounts. It’s no surprise that this is happening as the age of social media users are becoming younger and younger.

The theory, at the time, was that by removing like counts on posts, that would reduce competition over vanity metrics, which would in-turn lessen social comparison, and its associated negative impacts. That's especially important for a visual-focused platform like Instagram, which is also particularly popular among impressionable young users.”

- Social Media Today

We’ve seen this coming for a while, but it’s officially safe to say that Likes are no longer a significant form of currency on Instagram.

Let’s cover the following:

  1. What’s changing?

  2. The history & appeal of Instagram likes

  3. Will businesses on Instagram be affected?

*The information in this blog is based on the assumption and the latest rumor that Instagram will be giving users the option to hide Likes, and will not be taking away public view of Likes permanently for all.


Here’s the gist: the exact number of Likes you receive on a post will only be visible to you, if you so choose. Previously (and currently, for most), you could see the total number of likes on a post and could scroll through to see who Liked the post (left).

Now, if someone hides their Likes, you’ll see the above (right).

If you tap the word “others,” it’ll still take you to the full list of people who’ve Liked that I suppose if you wanted to dumpster dive to see how many Likes someone’s post received, you could, but I imagine that would be quite the task.

However, we hear that users may be able to share their likes with others in just a few taps. We’ll see.

On the front end, this is the only thing that will visually change. On the back end, you’ll be able to see how many Likes your post has received. We’ll get more into what this means for you later, if you’re a brand on Instagram.