Instagram ‘like count’ visible again and signals a victory for influencers

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Bikini influencers can show the world again how popular they are after Instagram gives users the option to show their ‘like count’ again.

Instagram removed the ‘like count’ for Australian users in July 2019 as a trial to see if it would take off the ‘pressure’ that comes with posting content.

But Facebook’s social media platform announced on Thursday that global users now have the option to show or hide their number of likes.

Relief! Bikini influencers like Tammy Hembrow (pictured) can show the world how popular they are again after Instagram allows users to show their like count again

Users can choose to hide all posts on their social media feed the same way, or only on their own posts, but are not forced to do so.

Hiding of similar counts was uniform during the trial period.

What we heard from people and experts was that not seeing ‘like counts’ was beneficial for some and annoying for others, especially as people use ‘like counts’ to get a sense of what’s trending or popular, Instagram said in a statement.

“So we give you the choice.”

Trial: Instagram removed the 'like count' for Australian users in July 2019 as a trial to see if it would take off the 'pressure' associated with posting content.  Pictured: Tammy Hembrow

Trial: Instagram removed the ‘like count’ for Australian users in July 2019 as a trial to see if it would take off the ‘pressure’ associated with posting content. Pictured: Tammy Hembrow

The number of likes of a post remains visible to the author of the content, while companies on the platforms maintain access to page statistics.

Instagram said it had also developed new tools to filter offensive content from a user’s list of private messages.

“This is a step forward in giving people more control over their experience on Instagram and Facebook,” Mia Garlick, Facebook Australia and New Zealand’s chief of policy, said in a statement.

It's back!  Facebook's social media platform announced on Thursday that global users now have the option to show or hide their number of likes.  Pictured: Tammy Hembrow

It’s back! Facebook’s social media platform announced on Thursday that global users now have the option to show or hide their number of likes. Pictured: Tammy Hembrow

In July 2019, Australian Instagram users were shocked to find that the ‘like count’ feature had been removed, meaning they could no longer determine – or show – the popularity of individual posts.

Tammy Hembrow, who has more than 12 million followers on the platform, expressed concerns about the move at the time.

“What happens if Instagram removes the likes?” a photographer asked as she left a Los Angeles nightclub.

“Then we’ll remove Instagram from my life!” Tammy replied, before getting into a cab, saying, ‘F ** k Instagram!’

Unexpected: In July 2019, Australian Instagram users were shocked to find that the 'like count' feature had been removed, meaning they could no longer determine - or show off - the popularity of individual posts.  Pictured: Married at first sight Jessika Power

Unexpected: In July 2019, Australian Instagram users were shocked to find that the ‘like count’ feature had been removed, meaning they could no longer determine – or show off – the popularity of individual posts. Pictured: Married at first sight Jessika Power

Since influencers rely on likes to prove their engagement with followers, the trial inevitably meant some struggled to land brand sponsorships.

At the time, Married At First Sight’s Jessika Power said she was confident her earnings potential would not be affected, as the clients she worked with liked to rely on the metrics she provided.

“It’s okay because our income works based on the analysis,” she told Daily Mail Australia.

‘It doesn’t affect my work in any way. The likes are more like medicine to some people. It’s that feeling of love and acceptance, but if I’m honest I wouldn’t care twice. ‘

Crisis: Since influencers rely on likes to prove their commitment to followers, the trial inevitably meant some struggled to land brand sponsorships.  However, others, like Jessika Power (pictured), were convinced they wouldn't be affected

Crisis: Since influencers rely on likes to prove their commitment to followers, the trial inevitably meant some struggled to land brand sponsorships. However, others, like Jessika Power (pictured), were convinced they wouldn’t be affected

Jessika’s co-star Martha Kalifatidis, who has 606,000 followers, also said at the time that she was not bothered by the Instagram update.

She said: ‘I don’t really care, it won’t change [my] life. I still regularly post fire photos. ‘

Former Home and Away actress Pia Miller, who has 694,000 followers, said she embraced the change when Instagram started the process two years ago.

“I want to live and raise my sons in a world where, in terms of social media or whatever media platform, it becomes a form of expression, not validation,” she told Popsugar.

Speaking: Jessika's co-star Martha Kalifatidis, who has 606,000 followers, also said at the time that she was not bothered by the Instagram update

Speaking: Jessika’s co-star Martha Kalifatidis, who has 606,000 followers, also said at the time that she was not bothered by the Instagram update

Keeping Up With The Content: Martha told Daily Mail Australia: 'I don't really care [about the like count], it won't change my life.  I will still regularly post fire photos'

Keeping Up With The Content: Martha told Daily Mail Australia: ‘I don’t really care [about the like count], it won’t change my life. I will still regularly post fire photos’

Zen: 'I want to live and raise my sons in a world where, in terms of social media or any other media platform, it becomes a form of expression, not validation,' Pia said when Instagram started the trial two years ago.

Zen: ‘I want to live and raise my sons in a world where, in terms of social media or any other media platform, it becomes a form of expression, not validation,’ Pia said when Instagram started the trial two years ago.

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