TL:DR - Instagram hiding the like counter is detrimental to users who rely on other account analytics to determine what content does best across the platform. Instagram should give users the option of whether they want to see likes on others' posts.
In an effort to improve the mental health of its users, Instagram has implemented a worldwide roll-out of hiding likes for other accounts' posts. What this means is that users will only be able to see a like counter for their own posts, but others will be hidden. Now you can go and see which people liked another's post and count them yourself, but that'd be quite the hassle.
For label managers, artists, and promoters, being able to see the like counter is a vital tool for keeping our finger on the pulse of the community. It helps us see what people do and don't respond to from other accounts. For example, when looking at other blogs on Instagram, being able to see if photos of the artists perform better than more text-heavy ones or videos helps me decide how to frame my own content.
As a label manager it's the same story: when deciding what sort of content to post on the Loca Recordings Instagram account, I checked what other labels were doing and noticed that artworks got more engagement than plain pictures of the artists. Now that likes are hidden, I will not be able to glean similar insights in the future or check if my current assumptions still hold true.
While I am not a music artist myself, I work with enough to understand the importance of seeing other artists' like counter. Some may argue that you should be able to work off of your own analytics, but that only helps you cater to your own followers. What most people want to do is grow their accounts which means analyzing what works for other artists and figures in the industry.
My proposed solution is to have a setting available for users which has two switches: one for disabling OTHERS from seeing likes on YOUR posts (similar to how Soundcloud does with their "quiet mode" setting) and another for disabling the like counters for OTHERS posts (like how the Instagram app is right now.) By having this two way street, Instagram can give users the options to take control over their own mental well-being while allowing businesses and influencers to continue gleaning insights from others' accounts around the platform.
Chris W. Lao
Writer, Label Manager, DJ, and Student.
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