Instagram Update: Hiding Likes and its Implications on Influencer Marketing

HyeonA Kwak
Digital Marketing Intern
June 18, 2021
min read
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Recently, Instagram announced that users now have the option to hide like counts on all posts in their feed. Instagram cited two reasons for this change: To combat the fake engagement industry where influencers can buy likes and comments to boost engagement in posts and to "relieve the burden" of improving users' mental health.

So how does this new feature work and how will this impact influencers and brands? In this blog post, we will be answering all your questions!  

How to Hide Likes for All Posts on Instagram?

Instagram allows both content consumers and content creators to turn on and off the likes and view count for posts. This means that you can choose not to display likes count when scrolling through your feed and whether you want to allow others to see the likes counts of your posts, thus providing you with greater flexibility and control!

You can change the settings under the new Posts section in the Settings menu to remove like and view count from other accounts. 

Source: Instagram

To hide like counts on your own posts, you need to go to Advanced settings and turn on “Hide Like and View Counts on This Post” when you create the post. 

You can hide the like and view counts on existing posts as well! 

Open the post you want to hide and click the three-point menu icon in the upper right corner. Now press "Hide Like Count" to hide like counts.

Source: Instagram

What does this mean for influencers?

Influencers have always used like counts as a measure of performance. But with the option to remove like counts, influencers will either have to find a better way to engage with the audience or focus on generating better content.

According to Business Insider, influencers said they haven't seen much change in business and brand transactions yet, but the idea of hiding likes on Instagram has made them nervous. Some influencers have already recognized that posts are getting fewer likes and lesser engagement, leading to lower posts in Instagram's algorithm feed. Some have also expressed concerns that this may affect their reach and ability to grow on the platform.

So to keep engagement high, influencers will have to focus on generating more meaningful content and maintaining good relationships with their audience as well as brands to collaborate with. 

By generating content suited for her target audience, @debbwie, a mom influencer based in Singapore, is a good example of an influencer who gains a high engagement rate, 8.16% --  far higher than that of similar influencers with only an average engagement rate of 3.33%.

She introduces DIY crafts that are suitable for children over 5 years old in video format. She filmed how it looks and how to use it to help audiences to get enough information about the product. 

What does this mean for brands?

As likes will no longer serve as an indicator of an influencer's post-judgment, but rather, high-interest participation indicators for sponsored posts such as click-through, views, engagement rate, and follower growth can now be used as indicators for brands.

Source: Affable analytics

Additionally, as engagement with the audience is now more important than before, campaigns run by micro-influencers, which have a high engagement rate compared to macro-influencers, will continue to grow. 

Hiding likes on Instagram increases the importance of building long-term relationships with influencers that is crucial when choosing the right influencer for a campaign that is of a long-term nature. Moreover, brands should create more content that not only targets specific users but also those that better connect with the audiences of influencers.

Toyota and Loki are examples of maintaining good long-term relationships between brands and influencers. 

Since February 2017, Loki, a lovable famous dog, featured Toyota’s car to capture social media’s attention in a unique way and engaged them in a wonderful, adventurous journey. 


In conclusion, likes should not be the only determining factor to measure the success of campaigns, so removing them will not necessarily have a significant impact on the influencer market. Other metrics such as follower growth, comments received, estimated reach and etc. will continue to play a part in determining influencer performance and drive influencer marketing campaigns. 

Finding it hard to measure your campaign’s engagement rate with other metrics? Unsure of which metrics to use to find the right influencers to collaborate with? 

Here at Affable, we provide all the tools and resources you are looking for! Reach out to us or sign up here to request a free demo now!

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