Removing Public ‘Likes’ from Instagram

Will Removing Instagram Likes Reshape the Way We Track Engagement?


Could it be possible that removing Likes from Instagram will alleviate social toxicity? In a recent interview with WIRED, Instagram CEO, Adam Mosseri, noted that “Bullying predates Instagram” but he also mentioned that the platform is taking incremental steps to improve mental and emotional health for its users.

Though Instagram is still testing this feature in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Japan and New Zealand – it hasn’t entirely hit the States yet.  At this point, we know excessive social media use can lead to sleep deprivation, productivity loss and increased interpersonal anxiety, but what effect will it have on those who depend on ‘Likes’ as a way to decipher what works and what doesn’t when it comes to showing off content?

This can surely alter the way social influencers and brands measure their social media as a business. With this change comes a new way to track engagement on our Instagram feeds. Instagram Story, on the other hand, has become a new staple in developing enticing content that resonates with your followers.

As a social media manager, I see trends ebb and flow, but this one seems like it will have an impact as I depend on Likes to see how many people engage and interact with our content. If we’re not seeing Likes, what other metrics do we look to in order to know we’re producing attention-grabbing content?

Here are some metrics that aren’t necessarily ‘Likes’:

  1. Comments: Not only words, but emojis show that audiences are listening.
  2. Story Views: They might not see you on feed, but if they see your story – they’ve engaged.
  3. Sharing + Tagging: Reposts are the next level of supporting other work or making a statement.

Something to note is that people are often “auto-liking,” the act of liking images you come across but don’t give a second glance or even read the caption. This is usually to make sure you’re keeping up with the algorithm and maintaining high visibility to your channel.

Removing this feature challenges us to rethink our standard KPIs from both a business perspective and personal.

What other ways do you track Instagram engagement?