The Pros and Cons of Removing Likes on Instagram in 
Updated: Jan 27, 2020
Instagram started testing the removal of likes in countries like New Zealand, Japan, and Australia before moving this test to the United States. You can still see your likers by clicking on the list of people who liked your photo, but the number of likes are completely hidden from your friends. Instagram noted on Twitter that, "[they] want your friends to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get." Now that hiding likes has officially made it to the U.S., it's important to take a look at the impact this might have on Instagram activity and advertising. After much debate, we've compiled a list of the top pros and cons of this Instagram update. Let's take a look!
1.) It's time for comments to take center stage.
With likes not on the map anymore, comments can take the lead. We predict that posts will have more meaningful interactions and more opportunities to engage in conversation. Whether you drop an emoji below a picture or write your life story, comments will be making a comeback in 2020.
2.) Content, content, and more content!
Now that the pressure of likes has subsided, we predict that there will be more Instagram content than ever before. The level of risk for posting a photo and receiving a sufficient amount of likes is gone. This means that people will actually start posting more often on the platform.
3.) Mental health will improve.
Teens report that social media makes them feel closer to friends (78%), yet 51% of girls aged 11 to 21 wish they looked more like the photos of women they see in the media. We can link mental health to social media and the need to gain likes. With likes out of the picture, we can conclude that mental health among teenagers will improve in 2020.
4.) Less established brands won't have to worry as much about gaining likes.
Without likes, businesses can compete on a more level playing field. Small businesses can focus on growing genuine engagement. Brands who promote their services or products on Instagram will need to move away from vanity metrics such as likes and focus more time on engagement, impressions, and actual sales. Removing likes is a positive step towards making Instagram a less competitive place.
1.) There may be limitations on influencer marketing.
Many influencers around the world rely on likes as an important metric for their posts' performance. With this new update, influencers will have to rely on other metrics like followers, comments, and impressions. Brands who are focused on influencer marketing may shift their marketing budgets from influencer marketing to paid advertising.
2.) Greater focus on other platforms.
There's no way around it, people love the feeling of being liked. With this metric missing from the Instagram platform, we predict some people may spend more time on other platforms.
3.) It may be more difficult to engage with users.
Likes are the easiest way for an audience to engage with content. It takes less than a second to click like while commenting takes more than just a tap of the finger. Content creators may have to work harder to get users to engage with their brands.
Let's face it, people love Instagram and the feeling of getting a like from another user, but with this new Instagram update, users have to find another way to get that gratification. There is a lot of talk about the benefits and repercussions of removing likes from the platform, but time will be the only true indicator of the results of this update. Whatever your stance is on the removal of Instagram likes, there is one thing we can all agree on - hearing the impact of removing Instagram likes will be extremely interesting.