Instagram aka Facebook has tinkered with its like button over the last year but has recently announced users will now have the option to keep the like feature on their profile or not

Adam Mosseri 😷 @mosseriSo we’re testing a new option that lets you decide the experience that’s best for you – whether that’s choosing not to see like counts on anyone else’s posts, turning them off for your own posts, or keeping the original experience.April 14th 202141 Retweets220 Likes

So let’s dive into pro-likes vs. anti-likes and show why this is the best call for IG

“How many likes did your pic get?…”

The like feature came out in 2005 at Vimeo inspired by similar rating systems in message boards. Then Facebook created the thumbs up icon and a new variable for their algorithm to predict the best content was launched.

Whether we want to admit it or not, we all have posted something online and let likes (or lack thereof) cross our minds. All of a sudden, the pressing of a button can mold a person’s entire view of themselves.

A paper by Child Development reported that in three cases, students that got fewer likes claimed to feel rejected compared to those who received more likes.

In every case, fewer likes led to a greater feeling of rejection

Netflix’s Social Dillema did a stellar job breaking down this impact to society but another I’d recommend is a movie showing what it’s like to be in 8th Grade today. It’s rated R.

“…4,789. Solid engagement rate of 8.2%!”

Creators are the ones with the largest accounts and rely on likes for a few reasons:

  • Appreciation – it’s nice to get a little acknowledgment when there was a lot of creative effort put into content
    • Similarly, we laugh for a stand-up comedian or call for an encore at a show (coming back soon!!)
  • Earn for Engagement – marketers want to work with accounts that have built a strong following, so metrics can help differentiate a creator
    • If I see someone with 78k followers but only 64 likes on a page, it’s a clear sign those followers were paid
  • Identify the Best Content – creators can see what works & brands can pick the best videos to use for paid ads
    • Recently for a brand, we analyzed 75+ influencer videos and used the ones with the highest engagement rates on Facebook & Instagram ads
      • These campaigns led to increased click rates of 6.3% and 150 new installs MoM


While I still see platforms like LinkedIn and YouTube keeping their like buttons up for everyone, this update puts more control in user’s thumbs while still empowering creators to grow their channels in smart ways.

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