5 Reasons Why Instagram Likes Still Matter for Your Business: Hidden and Visible

Posted in INTERESTING       17 Dec 2021       499       GALLERY VIEW



In an age of virtual marketing, not having a social media account for your business can be a considerable drawback. With over a billion active users and a fast-increasing user database, Instagram is the place to be if you want to establish a credible social media presence for your business. This, however, is easier said than done. The site is already teeming with scores of competitors vying for the attention of the same target audience as you. It takes a lot of time, effort, and even money to market yourself well. Rarely has the platform had professional accounts facing little or no competition? When it comes to building a strong IG presence, it is not just about getting the right audience pool to notice you. Instead, it is more about understanding how Instagram focuses on specific profiles over others. 

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

Whether you are a small business or an industry giant, getting your business account noticed on the platform can be a nerve-wracking challenge if you do not consider the working of the dynamic algorithms that manage account visibility here. After all, the site itself has seen too many changes in its short lifetime.

What Began as a Photo-sharing App, Now Is a Booming Social Networking Space for All Kinds of Visual Content

The site has constantly been upgrading the algorithms that determine the visibility and reach for accounts. Several parameters are taken into account to make the IG experience as personalized as possible for each user. So, Instagrammers are constantly left wondering how best to tailor their marketing strategy for this platform. Should they be concentrating on building follower count? Should more budget be allocated to running ads? What about likes, saves, and comments? Where do these forms of engagement stand?

Now, buying social signals is one popular method employed to speed up starting on the platform. Likes have been a preferred signal in such purchases. Likes are also bought to bring momentum to accounts facing a lull in their engagement rates. Many professionals have long invested in periodically paid likes from the FollowersId portal and other trusted sellers. Those willing to be more patient with their social media growth consider organic methods of improving likes and saves on their content.

But recently, following a period of selective testing, Instagram made it possible for users to hide likes. The option is used by many to leave viewers unable to determine how many likes a post has gathered. While the option brings in a novel experience of using IG, it also begs the question: do hidden likes still count as an essential factor in Instagram metrics?

What Is the Difference Between Hidden Likes and Regular Instagram Likes?

In terms of backend functioning-none. In terms of front-end usage, it brings IG users a whole new experience. For the longest time, likes were Instagram’s most decisive visual and psychological parameter of a post’s success. 

   The rat race for getting more likes than others made people lose focus on their posts’ quality and information content and concentrate more on audience reception metrics. This competitiveness increased further when Covid struck the globe as a pandemic and made people remain holed up in their homes for long periods.
   The time spent on social media exponentially increased, and social media-related socio-psychological problems like inferiority complex, depression, and other mental health issues. It led Instagram to experiment with hiding likes.
   The aim was to lessen the competitiveness and mental pressure of always putting one’s best foot forward. In other words, it was a move made to improve the quality of time spent on Instagram.

While there was no conclusive evidence that the experiment reduced people’s anxiety, loneliness, or ego worries, many users liked the experience. Despite an equal number of IG users finding the same experience unsettling, Instagram decided to retain this feature of hiding likes in its new updates. Every IG user, regardless of whether they have a business account or a personal one, can now opt to hide the like counter on their profile as a whole or selective post.

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay 

In short, as an engagement metric, each like is still recorded by Instagram algorithms. But as a means of social influence, likes do not always spawn more likes now. Strong content creation and skillful advertising do. When one chooses to hide hearts on a post, the post viewer will leave a like on it based on what they think of the publication since they can no longer see whether it had 2 likes on it or 2000. The like counter in such a case cannot push the viewer psychologically into following the crowd. 

Now that They Can Be Hidden, Are Likes Still Important for Instagram Algorithms?

As mentioned, likes have not been struck off their backend functionality on Instagram. Likes have always been an important parameter determining visibility on Instagram, and that hasn’t changed. What has changed is that many new parameters (like saves, shares, link clicks, and views) are also gaining importance for the purpose. It doesn’t discount the importance of Instagram likes at all. To understand this, you must understate the difference between “hiding” and “disabling” likes. What Instagram has done in its current avatar is allow individual users autonomy over whether they want the number of likes they receive to be viewable or not. Other IG users can still like their content, and they will not be able to see how many likes the post has gathered in total. On the other hand, the account owner can do so by simply visiting their Instagram insights and accessing the statistics.

In other words, hiding likes does not mean the likes you receive are not registered. They are still taken into account by the Instagram backend mechanisms as always and are still used to determine your visibility rankings and reach. So, should you focus on improving likes for your Instagram business account? Absolutely!

5 Reasons Why You Should Try to Attract more Likes on Instagram

Hidden or not, Likes are still a significant parameter that affects the various Instagram algorithms. Here are the top 5 ways they affect your brand building and why you should concentrate on building up the number of Likes you receive on your Instagram content.

    1.   Likes build a positive impression about your content

Likes are an agreed means of social proof. Since hiding likes is an optional feature, you can decide to keep the counter visible for everyone. It means the number of likes you get can still act as a stamp of approval for your content and give your visitors a great impression about your brand and your posts. Pay attention to getting more likes for your content to build social credibility among existing and potential followers. You may end up seeing many of your visitors convert into your clients too!

    2.   Recent likes make your content gain visibility in extended audience circles

Instagram algorithms work in a way that shows users of the platform what posts their friends have recently engaged with. It means if someone has liked a post of yours, their friends will likely see your post appear on their home feeds. This happens regardless of whether the person leaving the likes follows your Instagram page or not. As long as you own a public account, your post will gain visibility among vast audiences. The exception here is Instagram Stories, as the Story feed is tailored exclusively for your followers. It makes your Reels, Posts, and IGTV content likely to gain more likes (and other forms of engagement) as more people get to view your content. When anyone from this broad audience pool leaves attention on your post, it will likely feature on the home feed of their friends and followers as well. To put it, set up the stepping stone for your content to go viral. So, create great content and concentrate on getting more people to like your content to offset a butterfly effect for gaining brand visibility.

    3.   Likes push up your Instagram visibility rankings

The statistics of your like counter are used in various permutations and combinations by Instagram to determine your visibility ranking in multiple feeds. You are probably already aware that there is an exclusive feed for Reels and IGTV videos (IGTV even has its app). In addition to this, Instagram has a page for, Search and Explore.

Getting many likes is crucial to find a feature on this page. The Explore tab curates content from people you do not follow already. What features here are determined by the individual score of interest of the posts. In addition to likes, a combination of factors like time of the post’s publication, user interaction history, hashtag metrics, and so on are considered to calculate each post’s score of interest for every IG user individually. When someone likes or engages with your content or with content marked with similar hashtags, your posts gain priority points for their home feed ranking. So, keep a tab on your insights to evaluate your content creation. Consider which types of posts are most likely to get the viewer’s likes. Consider also if you would like to leave your like counter visible to encourage the peer behavior of leaving more likes for you.

    4.   Likes boost consumer trust in you over your competitors

Social media ranking and popularity have a positive impact on consumer intent. When it comes to brand awareness and brand acceptance, social media users often go by what fellow social media users say about you. Instagram users are no different in this regard. Most IG users rely on peer endorsements before making a purchasing decision. In other words, what you have to say for your products and services can make more people notice your business, but the growth in brand awareness need not necessarily translate to purchasing intent. However, when you get more likes on your product posts and shopping tags, you are far more likely to attract the interest of potential consumers. Likes work as a substitute for customer reviews in this case. They build trust in your merchandise and services. Having a good number of likes on your posts consistently will help you create a favorable consumer mindset for your brand. Hearts can, thus, literally lead to conversions and sales. The more organic likes you get, the better your chances.

    5.   Likes are a tool for measuring your active engagement rate

In addition to building visibility, likes are one of the many tools you can use to determine your organic engagement rate. An active follower count is crucial to your brand’s success on Instagram, but it is not easy to keep a tab on who is a dormant follower among your fanbase and who interacts with your account. Checking your insights on who has liked your post, who has viewed it, or performed any other engagement on it can help you spring clean your follower count periodically. It is crucial for maintaining a healthy engagement rate on the platform. It does not matter if your counter is hidden or visible, as the analytics tools record all likes. The higher number of likes you can get, the better your engagement rates. Monitoring your engagement rate is crucial as it helps you modify and fine-tune your content creation and brand marketing strategies in a time and cost-efficient manner. 

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 


In Conclusion

Whether you choose to hide the likes counter on your page and posts or you choose to keep it visible, the fact remains that Instagram likes are still an important determinant for your reach and visibility. As a business, how you plan your content will depend significantly on what you decide will be the visibility status of likes for the particular post or post series. Focusing on the quality of your content is always a prudent choice, for it gets viewers to respond in some form to your post. Pick a social brand-building strategy that complements your decision to hide or show your like counter and concentrate on increasing audience likes with authentic influencing skills. The importance of this counter hasn’t diminished at all. The platform has only increased the possibilities of enhancing your social networking.


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