19th November 2019: Instagram is set to be the first platform to remove ‘like’ feature worldwide. On an experimental basis, it has started removing ‘like’ counts on several Indian Instagram accounts in order to depressurize Instagram a little bit, and make it a bit less of a competition.

Commenting on the initiative, Vishal Shah, V-P of Products, Instagram said, “We want people to focus more on the content and less on the numbers. And so, if you think about stories, stories do not have any public light counts or any public metrics. It’s just about the content. We learned a lot from stories it gave people the chance to feel comfortable expressing themselves without worrying about the metrics. So that’s exactly what we’re trying to learn through this test in feed”

Commenting on the same, Mr. Ashutosh Harbola CEO and Co-founder, Buzzoka, India’s most reputed influencer marketing company says, “The removal of Instagram likes is a positive move by Instagram and as an Influencer Marketing company, we are really optimistic about the effects that it will have. Brands in the current schema of the marketing mix are more focussed on likes and followers and content somehow take a back seat. With the removal of likes, I think the content will get the maximum boost. Social media prevails and survives on good content and we as a company have seen a pattern of performance basis these likes. Yes, likes were a metric to measure the virality of content but it also brought in a lot of fake practices like increasing likes by bots, etc”.

Ashutosh Harbola - CEO & Co-founder, Buzzoka
Ashutosh Harbola – CEO & Co-founder, Buzzoka

“The step will at least stop all unethical practices and a creator will be more focussed on creating good content. Also, on the consumer side, the effect is even more crucial as today’s youth is judging itself on the basis of these likes, etc. Social media is a space that allows users to take out time from their busy schedule and be connected to the world, but somehow it was turning out to be a jumbo war of likes. We have seen so many cases of depression etc that have been reported in the past. Also, on the side of performance, an Instagram user will still be able to see the performance of its post by deep diving into Instagram analytics, but at least the network will not be judging them now. I truly see this as a disruptive move from Instagram and will be backing it full-hearted” he further added.