Instagram removes ‘Likes’ from platform – what it looks like & means for the future

by Jul 18, 20195 Min Read, Education

Today Instagram rolled out a feature which hides the amount of ‘likes’ on a post in a push towards less bullying.


This was originally announced back in April at Facebook’s f8 2019 keynote speech as one of many features Instagram is using “lead the fight against bullying”.

The other features Instagram are testing include:

  • A message that says “other people might find this offensive” and pops up up when offensive keywords are used to comment on a post
  • Safety prompts within the app to help block accounts & manage how people interact with your content
  • An away mode which seems like an alternative to deleting an account
  • Being able to set limits with how you interact with specific accounts without having to unfollow or block them

….Aaaand last but not least a feature which was released today in Australia – removing the likes counter from the platform.

So what does the new hidden like feature look like?

A few things change. First the user count is completely hidden leaving only the text ‘and other’ in its place.

When clicking on “Others” you still can’t see the like count

Instagram have completely removed any ability to see the like count on other people’s posts, instead showing you people who you follow who like the image up the top followed by a list of others.

You can still see the like count if it’s your own post

You’re still able to see the total like count on your own posts as per normal, however this is still hidden in the feed to you unless you click the ‘others’ button. 

My thoughts

Instagram has gone from a small photo sharing app into a social network juggernaut with BILLIONS of users very fast without having any time for self reflection when it comes to both privacy and how many people are affected negatively along the way.

This has brought a rise to high amount of anxiety, depression & bullying among many other things.

It’s nice to see Instagram finally trying to do something about this & hiding the like feature is a nice step. Yes you’ll see many ‘influencers’ and companies freaking over this but at the end of the day Instagram along with Facebook created the ‘like’ feature in the first place and it’s in their best interest to both still make money but more importantly keep people on the platform happy – this does both.


As a photographer who uses the platform to post images and get inspired by others I think this is good move, both because it still allows me to gauge how well my images go but also because it focuses more on the content instead of perceived value through the little ‘likes’ counter. Also, this probably helps take down bots whose job has previously been to spam likes.


If you’re interested I did an in-depth article on how social media controls our brain which goes into how different aspects of these platforms stuff us up & practical ways to fix it.

Also James Purtill over at the ABC wrote an interesting article on how this change will affect Influences


Hey! I'm Dale - a landscape photographer from the Central Coast of Australia.

I write about all things photography, life, the universe and everything.

1 Comment

  1. Norman

    Nice review and update of the situation Dale. Thanks.