Instagram Banning Likes: Positive or Negative?

Hi, loves!

I’ve seen an abundance of articles across the Internet (mainly Twitter) discussing Instagram’s decision to do a trial run banning likes in a select few countries. My immediate reaction was to almost panic, thinking it was a completely bad idea. However, my views have slightly changed now I’ve had time to think.

I also want to start by saying that many of my readers may not see this as an important topic. Yes, there are people across the globe dying. Yes, I usually discuss much more serious topics on here. However, why not switch it up and discuss something social media related for a change? Since blogging is social media in itself and I am actually a frequent Instagram user, I thought I’d discuss some pros and cons of the daunting possibility of Instagram banning likes.

Cons

Firstly, I’ll discuss the cons I’ve found when weighing up whether Instagram banning likes for good would be a positive or negative thing.

Influencers

So, the first con I see with banning likes is how damaging it could potentially be for Instagram influencers. I know a large amount of people are against influencers, but at the end of the day Instagram is their job so why would we want to hinder that? I’m sure Instagram certainly doesn’t want that, so why ban likes? How many likes an Instagrammer gets often gives brands a good idea of who to collaborate with, meaning someone getting more likes allows their career a higher chance of succeeding. Of course, this could be turned into a bad thing, which we will discuss further below in the ‘pros’ section we’ll get onto later. At the end of the day, an Instagrammer recieving more likes often means more of their followers interact with their page and enjoy their content, which is great for brands who wish to collab with said Instagrammer.

Followers enjoyment

So, the main way I decide which of my Instagram posts my followers enjoy to see is by looking at the amount of likes it has. If a certain post has less likes than another post, there’s usually a reason for that. A post receiving a high amount of likes often means my followers enjoy that kind of content from me, so therefore I know what content to keep on giving them. Of course comments are a good way to see what content your followers are loving, but it’s much easier for someone to like a picture than to comment. Therefore, I find likes to be an easier way to see which content is doing the best.

Easy interaction

Honestly, I find myself and a lot of my friends tend to like pictures more than we comment on them. This is simply because it’s an easier and more time-efficient way to tell someone you like their picture rather than taking the time to comment. Personally, I want to be able to show someone I like their content and think their picture is aesthetically pleasing or ‘cool’. Taking this away just seems pointless to me, as surely the point of Instagram is to post pictures that your followers share their opinions on? Of course, likes aren’t the be all and end all, but they’re helpful for many people. If you don’t care about likes, that’s cool! But some people do, and that’s okay too.

Pros

Admittedly, the more I’ve thought about this topic the more pros I have come up with. This is interesting to me, as maybe I was against the whole idea at first as I’m conditioned to think my worth is based off likes too?! Something to think about, I guess. Or maybe I’m just going crazy and over-thinking, since it is currently 2:41am. ANYWAY, let’s get started on the pros of Instagram banning likes.

Self-Esteem issues

I mean, this i probably the point you were all waiting for as it’s probably in every single post surrounding this topic.. Self-esteem issues. Likes on Instagram have become way more serious than they ever should have been. So many people, especially young girls, base their self-worth off the amount of likes they get on Instagram.. How ridiculous does that sound?! Yet it’s actually not that ridiculous, as it’s something that soooo many people go through.

Posting for likes

I’ve found it can be very easy to fall into the trap of posting for likes, rather than posting what YOU want. Banning likes could give Instagram users more creative freedom, which is what Instagram is all about, right?! Even I check my likes more often than I should, and have been prone to deleting a post if it gets fewer likes than usual. I think I’d be much happier with what I posted if likes were eradicated, honestly.

Something new

I guess this isn’t particularly a ‘valid point’ as such, but it is an interesting one I’d like to delve deeper into. Why not eradicate Instagram likes? Why not try something new? I feel like, as a generation, we have based our self-worth on likes for so many years that maybe it will be great for our mental health to take a break for a little while. Maybe it will even improve our content, as we’re not constantly checking likes and, in turn, deleting/archiving posts. I’m not sure if I’m just babbling on now, but I’m interested to see how it turns out if Instagram do decide to ban likes.

What do you think? I’m still pretty undecided, but I do think it’d be interesting to see what it’d be like for Instagram to no longer display likes. Maybe people would comment more – creating more genuine engagement, discussion and love – who knows?!

Only Instagram knows what the future holds.

Lots of love,

Soph. xx

33 thoughts on “Instagram Banning Likes: Positive or Negative?

  1. Huh. Interesting question. Taking away likes takes away a lot of the interactivity of it. I’m very minimally active on Pinterest, but I’m not sure how motivated I’d be to post if I had no idea if anyone was interested. I’m also not sure if doing away with likes truly gets at the underlying issue.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s true – I barely post on Pinterest for the same reason as you. I think maybe getting rid of IG likes could cause more comments and genuine interaction which could be a good thing. I do completely agree with you though! There’s clearly a huge issue with people’s self esteem that needs to be addressed, as that’s the actual issue.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t think Instagram is banning likes completely, but they’re altering the settings for likes such that you can’t see how many likes someone else gets in comparison to you. Like you can see who likes your own photos and how many likes you’re getting, but you can’t see someone else’s engagement numbers. I’ve heard from a few people who already experienced the switch that they enjoy the app more now because it takes away pressure, but this hasn’t rolled out in the US.

    Admittedly, I was a little skeptical (and am still a little skeptical) as a marketer since engagement rate is an important success factor for influencer campaigns, but as long as influencer networks still have the ability to validate that an influencer’s ER is true and not fake, I don’t see this being as big of an issue as I thought it would be initially.

    Right now, I’m still in the “undecided” realm, since I haven’t yet experienced it myself!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, really?! That’s super interesting. It hasn’t happened in the UK either so I’m very intrigued to hear how the change has gone in other countries – I’ve actually heard nothing other than positive things so far. I was very against the idea at first but the more I though of it the more I thought ‘why not?’ It could help a lot of people enjoy IG more and as long as you can see how many likes you still get on your own photos, I don’t really see how it could cause a problem. You will still be able to see which pictures of your people like the most. I’m also in the undecided area, however whenever I talk about it I seem to find much more ‘pros’ than ‘cons’, so I’m very open to the idea..

      Liked by 1 person

  3. On the app itself, you can’t see the number of likes per photo. It just says “so and so and others” under each photo. Personally, I’m alright with that but Instagram lacks genuine comments and engagement. It relies so heavily on likes to allow for interaction. My way around that? IG stories. IG stories allows for DM’s and genuine interaction.

    I use IG from my computer using a chrome extension if I were to post photos (I stopped because I got bored curating my feed). I can still see the number of likes on the photos since it’s a separate thing from the phone app. It basically does everything the app on your phone would do except you can’t post IG stories from your computer, hence why I still use the app on my phone.

    In conclusion, if you really want to see the number of likes on Instagram, use the chrome extension and use IG from your computer instead.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s so true! It’s so much easier to like a photo than to comment, so maybe the ‘removal’ of like will cause more interaction between users. I love IG stories – they’re such a fun and cute way to make friends with people, as like you said people are way more likely to dm you through your IG story. x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The main issue I have encountered with commenting on IG is that most of the comments come from bots, from users who never return, or from users who are just plain creepy.

        Also, I try to leave comments on IG photos because I’m accustomed to commenting on WP but people won’t reply back on IG like they do on WP, which also kills the interaction between IG users and engagement levels. It’s easy to like a photo but takes more thought to leave a meaningful comment, and from what I’ve noticed, IG users don’t seem to care too much about commenting and engagement.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m from Canada and haven’t had likes on posts for months now! It really bothered me at first because it was just so weird, and I do feel bad for those whose careers are based on likes. However, I feel like to those who base their whole sense of self-worth of off likes and are constantly comparing themselves to others, so far it’s been a pretty positive change — so I’ve grown to like it. I feel like it’s really important for people who hate the idea to remember that a) while social media may not impact your personal mental health and sense of worth much, there are others who are constantly being hurt by the concept of “likes” and b) if you’re career isn’t based on likes, why it’s so important to you to have them? It’s tough to face, but maybe you’ve become a little too dependent on social media for your sense of self-worth, and maybe Instagram removing likes may benefit you more than you realize.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes!!! I was so against it at first but the most i thought about it the more i thought – why not? we may as well embrace the change as it could help a lot of people, just because it doesn’t affect someone personally doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect others (like you said)! I’m excited to see if it happens and what affects it has on people. Thank you for your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Interesting points here. I’m kind of in the camp that removing visible likes is a good thing (we’ll still be able to see for ourselves though) as the pressure will be off. And I agree that it’s easier to like a post than comment so perhaps that kind of engagement will change over time too. At the end of the day, Insta isn’t one of my favourite platforms, I prefer Twitter, but I guess time will tell! Lisa x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I definitely agree! There’s not much point in being able to see how many likes others get anyway, other than the competitive aspect (which can become kind of unhealthy) x

      Like

  6. I could have this wrong, but I’m pretty sure you’re still allowed to like bit only the person who owns the account can see the number. Honestly, I think it’s great. Influencers can still send their stats to brands, fellow Instagram users don’t get that confidence knock when they see another person’s likes. It could all go wrong but I’m all for trying it and seeing what happens x

    Sophie
    http://www.glowsteady.co.uk

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great post and a very valid discussion! I don’t really use Instagram enough to care too much either way – I’m not an instagram influencer (thankfully) so it’s not going to affect me in the slightest. But from someone who interacts with other people’s content, I think it’ll make interaction a lot harder. Some days I just don’t have the time to comment on everything I see but I want to acknowledge someone’s work and a like is a really good way of doing that. But obviously now it won’t show whether we’ve interacted or not so unless you leave a comment, your engagement goes pretty unnoticed. It’s a tricky one – I can see why they’re doing it and I guess we’ll just have to wait and see whether it’s a good idea or not! x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Apparently it still shows the user that you’ve liked it, but other people can’t see how many likes someone has – I didn’t realise that when I wrote this post! Now I know that, I’m actually struggling to think of many cons! x

      Like

  8. Great post with really interesting points! I can’t imagine Instagram without the likes, but I am trying to keep an open mind. I just like knowing who is interacting with my stuff, whether it’s on my personal page or my blog’s insta. From a viewer’s perspective, I prefer liking things to commenting, especially as a quick show of appreciation. I feel like comments are more intimate, lol. Anyway, thanks for sharing!

    Like

  9. I feel like they framed this as a mental health positive, however the fact that they are still allowing users to see how many people like their post, they just aren’t showing numbers for their competitors (however you can still see a list of who has liked it…) they are falling short of their stated goal (which I’m not sure I’m totally on board with to begin with). The removal of public like counts isn’t magically going to make the platform a better place for people’s self-esteem. Those that are struggling are going to find out things to focus on like comment counts, followers, etc. Rather than trying to find a bandaid solution to a much bigger problem, I think we need to focus more on the culture surrounding the use of social media as a whole.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I 100% agree! Let’s be honest, removing likes is probably going to do very little for a user’s self-esteem, they already have low self-esteem to begin with – it’s not ’caused’by seeing how many likes someone has, that just trigger it/makes it worse. thank you for your comment! very interesting take on the topic x

      Like

  10. A very interesting take on this, and I love that you have examined the pros and cons. I think self-esteem is something that comes from anything that garners likes, even blog posts. Posting for likes is another thing entirely. I like honest writing and photos because, with that, comes honest likes.

    I am now quite curious to see what Instagram does! I do not post there but I do like to follow people I want to support. Admittedly, I also like their posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I also think removing likes will just make people more focused on followers/comments on their posts so it won’t really remove the self-esteem problem. However, like you, I am super interested to see what happens! Thank you for your insightful comment!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s