Hiding Instagram Likes – What Does it Mean for Your Account?

Alex Tooby

7 min read

Hiding Instagram Likes - Is it Real & What Does it Mean for You?

Hiding Instagram Likes blog post

[Update Nov 11, 2019] Instagram is now testing hiding Instagram likes in the United States!

Let me guess, you’ve heard the news; Instagram has decided to hide the like count of all posts in 7 different countries! Canada was the first country to experience the change (good idea to test it with the nicest population first!) but Instagram recently added Ireland, Italy, Japan, Brazil, Australia, and New Zealand to the list of countries who no longer will be seeing Instagram likes.

Of course this change is HUGE and most users aren’t sure how to react. Is this the end of Instagram? The end of influencer marketing? or perhaps it’s a good thing..

Prefer to watch the video version of this blog post? Check out my YouTube Video!

Hiding Instagram Likes blog post

Before I share my outlook and what I think this means for the future of Instagram, let’s first discuss WHY Instagram has decided to start hiding likes.

Why will Instagram likes be hidden?

Mia Garlick, Facebook Australia and New Zealand director of policy, said in a statement: “We hope this test will remove the pressure of how many likes a post will receive, so you can focus on sharing the things you love,” the goal, she adds, is to see “whether this change can help people focus less on likes and more on telling their story”.

It’s clear Instagram has taken a keen interest in ending the toxic popularity environment that has resulted due to the pressures of keeping up with major influencers. They want to banish the mindset that your photos aren’t ‘worthy’ without a ton of likes, which is a GOOD thing, y’all!

Hiding Instagram Likes affect on mental health

However, I know a lot of people are panicking, thinking that without an obvious like count or impressive engagement, your account will no longer be deemed “successful”. Well guess what, it’s just not true!

Throughout this blog we’ll discuss what hiding instagram likes means for you and how it’s actually going to be a great thing for most accounts!

What does this new feature look like?

The major thing to note here is that the owner of the account can still see the amount of likes a post recieved, but others will not see them.

This is what my posts look like to the public:

Hiding Instagram Likes - view from profile

and this is what it looks like when I (the account owner) click on the “liked by” text:

Hiding Instagram Likes - view from back end

As you can see, the owner of the account will always be able to see their like count, so they have the same control over their content as always – we can still easily tell what posts are performing or not.

As for the public, they can still click on the “liked by” text and see a list of accounts who liked the post, just not the total number. That means (if they had the time to waste) they could manually count the likes. I, however don’t think anyone will be doing this. If it’s of importance to someone, a quick scroll through the ‘liked by’ page will show if the post got very few likes or a lot.

Other than this small visual change, Instagram will look and perform the same as we’re used to.

What are the pros and cons of hiding Instagram likes?

Like any new Instagram feature, hiding likes comes with positives and negatives.


·  Smaller / newer accounts will seamlessly blend in with larger accounts on Instagram and will be given more credibility (hidden likes looks a lot better than only having 3 likes!)
·  ‘Influencers’ who have bought followers or grown inorganically will be exposed for their lack of true influence (with the removal of Instagram likes they will have to prove their influence through comments and actions taken on their accounts – for example, link clicks when promoting a brand in their bio instead of just like count)
·   Users may feel relief that the amount of likes their posts get, no longer matters (let’s be honest, wondering how many likes your recent post is going to get can be very stressful and anxiety inducing for some – which is exactly what IG is trying to squash)
·   Attention will be reverted to what really matters on Instagram – getting people to take action on your account such as clicking your link, leaving a comment, sending a DM, etc (these are the actions that everyone should be striving for because they lead to true ROI in the form of traffic and sales)


·  Perceived credibility may be lost (When we see an account with thousands of likes per post it insinuates authority)

Clearly there are many more pros than cons (in my opinion) however I know others may have a different outlook. Stick with me though – this isn’t the end of Instagram, in fact it’s the beginning of a better Instagram!

When was the last time you felt frustrated about your engagement? Last week? Yesterday? Today? Well without Instagram likes that feeling doesn’t have to exist any more. Instagram likes do NOT equal success..



Are you struggling to see more engagement, followers and sales? This short, value-packed training is for you!

Your information is secure and never shared with 3rd parties.

How do we measure success without Instagram likes?

Here’s the thing, measuring your success based on the amount of likes you get has been wrong from the beginning, not just because they’re taking them away now.

Instagram likes are your quintessential ‘vanity metric’. They give you an immediate rush (kinda like a drug!) and when you don’t get enough, you crash. You feel disappointed, frustrated, not good enough, the list goes on..

Hiding Instagram Likes - Vanity Metrics

Of course Instagram likes aren’t totally useless. If they are likes from your target market then you’re moving in the right direction, however there are plenty of other metrics that provide a much clearer picture of your success on Instagram including:

· Website clicks
· Post shares
· Post saves
· Genuine comments
· DM inquiries
· Story swipe ups
· Email, call, text, direction clicks

Notice followers isn’t on this list? They fall into the same category as likes. If people aren’t taking action on your account then you aren’t using Instagram to its fullest extent. When people take the actions above it means you’ve created content that spoke to them and encouraged them to look further into you and your business or brand.

I’d personally prefer website clicks than likes. Why? Well that gets my target market one step closer to purchasing what I’m selling! You should strongly consider valuing these metrics as well.

How will hiding Instagram likes affect influencers?

If you’ve been following me for a while you know that I gear my content towards business owners and I sometimes feel like Influencers think that doesn’t include them, but it absolutely does. Influencing IS a business and while you may put more of your eggs in the Instagram basket than others, it doesn’t mean the sentiments in this blog don’t apply.

As an Influencer you should be focusing on the exact same thing as other businesses – getting people to take action! If a brand hires you to promote a product, you NEED to get your audience over to that company’s feed or website and buying that product. This is what will make brands come back and work with you again and again. The amount of likes you get on the promo post doesn’t matter if no one buys.

This change is going to encourage brands to start paying more attention to the important metrics I mentioned above and will require them to implement more due diligence. They’ll regularly be asking for screenshots of insights and if those analytics don’t match with what they’re looking for, they won’t hire you. If they do, then you just got a job – congrats! 

Regardless of your like count, you can still work as an influencer – there’s just more weight on whether you truly can influence!

So will hiding Instagram likes actually hurt influencers? Nope. Only the fake ones!

Instagram is amping up the platform’s authenticity in every way they can. Removing likes, shutting down growth services, blocking repetitive actions, disabling accounts and implementing shadowbans may seem harsh but it’s great for all of the hard workers out there who have grown manually and organically.

Tell me: have you ever posted a photo of something that you really loved, but it didn’t get as many likes as other posts? Well, say goodbye to that feeling! This change will allow us to post what we want without the embarrassment or disappointment of it getting less likes.

Sounds good right?

Listen to Gary Vee: don't chase likes! Ignore the vanity metrics and focus on posting what you're passionate about and provides value for your audience - this is the true path to success on Instagram. 

So what do you think?
Tell me in the comments, are you for or against hiding Instagram likes??


50 tools, templates and products that I personally use to run, scale and automate my online business

instagram photos
10 Small Businesses Under 10k That are Killing it On Instagram
How to Get Verified on Instagram – A Step by Step Method
8 Tips for Hosting a Successful Instagram Giveaway or Contest
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

well, i think it is fair and regular accounts will have their chance on instagram, now its kinda difficult to compete with the big fishes who grow like bodybuilders only on fake things. thank you for sharing this

I am totally fine for not showing likes however I have a lot of thoughts on the matter and would love your feedback on some as I know I am not alone. Even though were not showing the likes to our audience to spare embarrassment/vanity we still see the number personally… which still triggers emotions of what am I doing right, what am I doing wrong, why isn’t my post being shown to my audience, it’s an endless vicious exhausting cycle. Also, working with brands… I assume they will still want to see that number. They measure the engagement %… Read more »

Thanks for sharing, I appreciate you keeping up with everything. I have learned a lot from your videos as I don’t have the patience/time to keep up with ALL THE THINGS all the time lol! I can see what you mean though, training us to form new habits of how we use the app :P. Time will only tell. I do enjoy the genuine comments but I feel like those are on a smaller perfect too, coming from the “real” audience. I notice a lot of influencers all comment on one another post even though the comment has something to… Read more »

Thanks for your opinion about this 🙂 Always got a lot of knowledge reading your stuff.

Great article once again thanks Alex. I feel that the following count is the real downer. Likes not so much for me. Anyway, I’m good with this change. Hopefully people will see hope important it is to engage on a comment level now x

Love absolutely everything you say in this article and completely agree with it! I am a mdicroinfluencer and I want people to see me for my content not for the likes I receive and the number of followers, which I’ve been so stubborn to grow organically over the past few years.

A relief on so many levels! Thanks for sharing! Especially for someone like me organically growing my audience.

Thanks a lot to you for sharing hiding Instagram likes here, these kind of ideas is much needed. I really appreciate that you have provided the data too, really appreciative and useful blog for us. Looking for more!!

I am from India my post likes are not hiding as like other please someone tel me how to hide likes on my post

I love this! Such great perspective!!! I’ve been worried about likes, but have been trying to focus more on the other aspects that you listed. Thank you for this!!

Great article thanks, Alex.