HypeAuditor, a company that matches businesses with influencers, found that the latter’s “Like” counts dropped in countries where the hidden “Like” count test was taking place. Influencers with 5,000 to 20,000 followers saw their “Likes” decline 3% to 15% depending on the country being tested. There was one country where this wasn’t true. In Japan, influencers with 1,000 to 5,000 or 100,000 to 1 million followers saw their “Likes” numbers rise approximately 6% even while the testing was going on in the country. The largest decline in “Likes” during the test came in Brazil where influencers with 100,000 to 1 million followers lost 28.33% of their “Likes”. Apparently, in some countries, social media subscribers are more apt to “Like” a post if they know others “Like” it as well.
Whether Instagram makes the hidden “Likes” a permanent feature will depend on how bad the influencers are affected during the testing phase. This is a job that lives and dies on the number of “Likes” and followers and if the testing determines that influencers could lose their, well, influence, Instagram might decide to stop the test immediately. The platform does not want to have a large number of influencers leave for another social media service.