Instagram is the premier location online for sharing photos and videos. The platform is used by everyday people, social media influencers, businesses and more. However, the greatest challenge for Instagram, and other social media platform, is figuring out how to foster better engagement and to make that engagement more meaningful. Instagram is considering several changes that could affect how people see and use the platform.

Instagram is testing a design prototype that would hide the like counter from public view. The person who posted the image could still see the engagement numbers, but regular viewers would not. Instagram believes that this could reduce the competitive spirit around engagement.

In the leaked design prototype, Instagram states, “We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get. During this test, only the person who shares a post will see the total number of likes it gets.”

If Instagram goes through with this design change, and that is a big if, it could dramatically change the way people interact with content on Instagram. For example, people often prejudge content based on its like count. Something that already has a lot of likes will get more, because of a herd mentality. Removing the like count from the equation will encourage people to make their own decision without prejudice.

Removing the visible like counter could also reduce the like-baiting tactics that people and businesses use to inflate their counter. Getting a large number of likes loses some of its popularity value when the original poster is the only person who knows how many likes a post received.

In the end, removing the like counter could make Instagram a better place for the users by making social media less of a competition. And for marketers, it will encourage them to focus on more important forms of engagement, like getting people to comment on and discuss the content that was posted.

Another way Instagram is trying to increase engagement is by introducing quiz stickers. Quiz stickers are labels that can be added to the images in Instagram Stories that allow users to select from a multiple choice answer. The idea is to increase engagement and to let you Instagram fans learn more about their favorite Instagram pages.

Quiz stickers have a form and function similar to other stickers that Instagram users can utilize, such as the poll sticker or the emoji slider. As one would assume, the stickers are easy to use. All users need to do is select the quiz sticker from tray after taking a photo or video. You then write in your questions and create between two and four possible answer choices. You select the correct answer, then share your story.

Like the other sticker functions on Instagram, quiz stickers are an excellent way to glean additional engagement from a photo or video. When people are scrolling through their Instagram feeds, they are more likely to stop if the Story gives them an opportunity to engage beyond the traditional like and comments.

For more recent news about social media marketing, read this article on the Facebook feature that makes it easier to understand why items are shown in your News Feed.

Published on: Apr 29, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.