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Last updated: December 11, 2019

What Hairdressers Should Know About Instagram Hiding Likes

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Here’s The Scoop On Insta’s Like Ban

With the invention of Instagram almost 10 years ago, it’s no exaggeration to say the hairdressing industry—and the entire world—shifted in a huge way. From gaining clients to learning new tips to connecting with hairdressers across the globe, it’s a powerhouse platform. That’s why when Instagram announced that it would be hiding the number of “likes” visible to users of the app, we needed to know more. Keep reading for what we’ve uncovered about Instagram hiding likes!


The social media giant began removing visible likes in Canada and other parts of the world earlier in 2019, and the new feature moved stateside in early November, affecting a small pool of users. While we don’t know when all users will see this shift, or whether the change will be permanent, we’ve compiled a rundown of everything we know, why it’s taking place and what you can expect to happen. Plus, we talked to some BTC Team Members to get their takes on the topic.



Here’s what the removal of likes will look like.


Mental Health & Creativity


An important thing to note is that you can still view how many people liked your posts, they just won’t be able to see the number of likes on your posts. Instagram claims that this move is to help take some of the social pressure off the app, which can make people feel the need to possibly buy followers and likes.


According to the Instagram’s CEO Adam Mosseri while speaking at the WIRED25 Conference, Instagram’s removal of likes is about improving mental health. “It’s about young people. The idea is to try to depressurize Instagram. Make it less of a competition, give people more space to focus on connecting with the people that they love [and] things that inspire them.”


By removing the “competition” aspect, users will hopefully be encouraged to stop censuring themselves for guaranteed likes and post more content that they want to post, according to Instagram. So, if you have a cool balayage application video and a photo of what your station looks like after a long day, go ahead and post both!


The user will only be able to see a few accounts who liked a post on someone else’s page.


Engagement Rates


If you’re worried about your engagement going down in terms of likes, that could potentially happen. According to TechCrunch, a study done by analytics site HypeAuditer says that users experienced a 3 to 15 percent decrease in likes in countries who’s likes were hidden. But overall, it’s too early to say how it will affect engagement across the board.


The lack of likes may seem daunting, but if you’re an influencer or would like to be, now is the perfect time to move away from vanity metrics and focus on useful conversion rates, according to Business Insider. Instagram allows both influencers and brands to link directly to ecommerce sites and advertisers can track the number of users who click the link from Instagram, which is a more valuable conversion rate than just how many likes a post generated. By using click-through commerce, brands can clearly gauge how influencers are affecting their sales.


What If I Still Want To See Likes?


Unfortunately, if you’re one of the tested users or not, it looks like Instagram is seriously considering removing likes permanently in the foreseeable future. But, for anyone who’s still super curious on how many likes a post got, there’s a Google Chrome extension called The Return Of The Likes that allows users to view likes and comment numbers. We’re sure more apps and extensions will follow in the coming months.



Here’s What The BTC Team Had To Say…


“Love it, but I still can see the likes on my feed. I did a poll and only some people couldn’t see them anymore. I wonder when it’s going to change for everyone?” –@jleighwebdoeshair


“Mine already took affect like a week or two ago. It’s not a big deal. As long as I can still see them for business purposes, then it’s all fine. You just can’t see anyone else’s [likes]. I like it. I think people will stop comparing themselves so much to others and just focus on making content.” –@fullmetaljaxon


“I haven’t noticed it. Mine is showing likes in my feed for all the people I follow…I’m nervous, but also kind of excited for a little pressure to go away.” –@hairbystevie


“I’m into it! Mine disappeared almost a couple weeks ago now. I think it’s cool.” –@studio_wolf


“I can still see mine and everyone else’s, I think it will be a fun change and I’m interested to see how it goes.” –@the.blonde.chronicles


“I still see them, but I’m also interested to see what will happen. I think people will post more!” –@danilo.bozic


“Not a crazy fan of it, since I work really hard on here but not opposed to it. I heard it’s to help people with confidence and self esteem issues.” –@jessicascotthair


“To be honest, I’m not sure how I feel about them going away…I’m trying not to focus on the numbers anymore and returning my focus on posting when I want and enjoying IG like I used to!” –@elissawolfe


“I still see them all at the moment, but excited that it may bring more engagement with one another.” –@the_blondologist


“I think the main reason IG is hiding likes is because they are trying to hide the loss of engagement from advertisers…Facebook just settled a lawsuit for inflating engagement numbers to advertisers a few years ago, so this definitely would not be out of left field behavior for them. I believe this was a business decision made in the face of TikTok’s rapidly increasing engagement and IG’s falling engagement as a whole.” –@caitlinfordhair


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