Hiding Your Likes on Instagram? Here’s What Brands Think

Hiding likes on Instagram is not fresh news. But we’ve noticed that hiding likes has grown very popular in the past months amongst creators. Here’s our advice on the topic, from a brand’s point of view.

We all know that you can hide likes on Instagram. Since browsing creators and brand profiles is part of our daily job at Createur, we’ve noticed that hiding likes has grown very popular amongst creators. While we respect every creator’s need for online privacy, some elements are still worth disclosing, including likes and views. 

Average Users Don’t Need a Scoreboard…
It’s great that Instagram invested two years of research and testing to protect its users from the negative side effects of vanity metrics. Users can easily shield themselves from feeling measured or judged. 

For some people, metrics such as likes don’t make sense, and putting a value on their content is irrelevant. Hiding likes is a valuable tool to tone down the need for external validation that automatically comes with the social media experience. 

…But Creators Kind of Do
But for creators, whose job is to perform on social media, the implications are different. For people who live off of their content, assigning a value to their work is actually more than relevant. As a creator, making these metrics available to collaborators is part of the job. 

What Happens When a PR Manager Visits a Creator’s Profile
When a brand looks for an influencer to sponsor, one of their first steps is to have a quick look at this influencer’s posts. That way, they get an idea of the creator’s universe and work. They also skim this content’s like counts, checking to see whether these counts are steady or fluctuate, and whether the total number of likes is congruent with this influencer’s number of followers. 

If someone in charge of PR takes the time to visit a creator’s profile, they’re hunting for concrete information, as well as checking overall aesthetic and community quality. The more they can learn about you and your content, and the faster they can do so, the better. 

What Happens if Some or Most Posts Show no Likes
We witnessed the following scenario quite frequently. Let’s say a creator has a well-furnished, curated grid. Gorgeous as it may be, half of that magic dissipates when only one post out of 10 displays likes, and when the available like counts so obviously display only the highest scores.  Remember, brands want as much data as possible. 

Meanwhile, the magic disappears entirely when one or two posts have been forgotten in the hiding tornado, and the number of likes are not so high. If a photo shows 400 likes and another shows 12k, the assumption of paid likes is quickly made. Doubts can start floating around the authenticity of the user’s follower count, and that’s the last thing we want to happen.

People whose job is to contract social media creators have a trained eye for these things. They don’t get fooled easily. They appreciate a bot-free, imperfect, authentic profile, and they can spot a fake in a matter of seconds.

What we Recommend
Demonstrate consistency in what you display. Featuring only a portion of your performance, and glossing over imperfection, is not a strategy that we recommend. 

If you really have to hide some likes, keep it to a bare minimum, because hiding likes really does show. The feed becomes polarized, and it does not reflect well on the creator’s performance.

Brands spend thousands of dollars on collaborations, so they need to know they’re dealing with rock-solid profiles, no matter their size. Give them the reassurance of transparency—even if you score fewer likes on a great post, you won’t be judged for that.