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Instagram ‘like count’ visible again, signalling a victory for influencers

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

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

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

Phew! Bikini influencers like Tammy Hembrow (pictured) can once again show the world how popular they are after Instagram gave users the option to show their ‘like count’ again 

Users can choose to hide like counts on all posts on their social media feed, or solely on their own posts, but will not be forced to do so.

The concealment of like 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 to others, particularly because people use like counts to get a sense for what’s trending or popular,’ Instagram said in a statement.

‘So we’re giving you the choice.’

Trial: Instagram removed the 'like count' for Australian users in July 2019 as a trial to see if it would remove the 'pressure' associated with posting content

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

A post’s like count will remain visible to the author of the content, while businesses on the platforms will retain access to page metrics.

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

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

It's back! However, the Facebook-owned social media platform on Thursday announced that global users now have the option to show or hide their like counts

It’s back! However, the Facebook-owned social media platform on Thursday announced that global users now have the option to show or hide their like counts 

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

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

‘What happens when Instagram gets rid of the likes?’ asked a photographer as she left a nightclub in Los Angeles.

‘Then we’ll delete Instagram from my life!’ Tammy replied, before climbing into a taxi and saying: ‘F**k Instagram!’

In July 2019, Australian Instagram users were shocked to discover 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's Jessika Power

In July 2019, Australian Instagram users were shocked to discover 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’s Jessika Power

As influencers depend on likes to prove their engagement with followers, the trial meant some inevitably struggled to secure brand sponsorships. 

At the time, Married At First Sight’s Jessika Power said she was confident her earning potential wouldn’t be affected because the clients she worked with were happy to trust the statistics she provided. 

‘It’s okay because our income works off of the analytics,’ she told Daily Mail Australia.

‘It won’t affect my work in any way. The likes are more like a drug to some people. It’s that feeling of love and acceptance, but I couldn’t give two hoots if I’m honest.’ 

Crisis: As influencers depend on likes to prove their engagement with followers, the trial meant some inevitably struggled to secure brand sponsorships. However, others such as Jessika Power (pictured) were confident they wouldn't be affected

Crisis: As influencers depend on likes to prove their engagement with followers, the trial meant some inevitably struggled to secure brand sponsorships. However, others such as Jessika Power (pictured) were confident they wouldn’t be affected

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

She said: ‘I don’t really care, it won’t change [my] life. I’m still going to post fire pics on the regular.’

Former Home and Away actress Pia Miller, who has 694,000 followers, said she was embracing the change when Instagram began the trial two years ago. 

‘I want to live and raise my sons in a world where, within the the realm of social media or any media platform, it becomes a form of expression not validation,’ she told Popsugar. 

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

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

Keeping up the content: Martha told Daily Mail Australia, 'I don't really care [about the like count], it won't change my life. I'm still going to post fire pics on the regular'

Keeping up the content: Martha told Daily Mail Australia, ‘I don’t really care [about the like count], it won’t change my life. I’m still going to post fire pics on the regular’

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

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


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