The Instagram Like Counter: An Ultimate Source of Validation

Profile photo of Karen Lin, author

Karen Lin

Instagram 101 | Jun 28, 2024

Want More Real Instagram Followers?

Everyone feels at least a little bit giddy when they see an influx of likes on their Instagram posts. A high number on the Instagram Like Counter is a sign that people appreciate and approve of your content. It means you’re doing something right. That gives anyone not just a boost of self-esteem and validation but also a sense of belonging.

But at times, the rat race to get the most Instagram likes can put a lot of pressure on creators. Instead of focusing on making and consuming amazing content, they focus on getting more likes. So, is there any way to ignore or even hide the like count on a post?

Today, we’re exploring everything you need to know about Instagram’s Like Counter. Keep scrolling to learn its significance to the platform and how you can customize your like settings.

A smartphone in the middle of a plant with a black and white heart icon on the screen.

What Is the Instagram Like Counter?

The Instagram post Like Counter is the little section of a post that displays how many likes it has received. For feed posts, it shows up at the bottom of the content. For Reels, it’s on the right side of the screen. In both instances, you’ll see the famous heart icon somewhere near the number of likes.

The number of likes on each post is always visible to the post’s owner. Depending on that user’s settings, it can also be viewable by others.

The Like Counter increases every time someone sees your post and clicks the heart button. Alternatively, they can double-tap the post to give it some love.

Aside from the number of likes a post garners, the counter also displays the usernames of everyone who liked it. It should show something similar to “Liked by [username] and x others.” If your settings don’t allow the total number to be visible, it will merely say, “Liked by [username] and others.”

A woman tucking her hair behind her ear while posing in front of a wall with the Instagram Like symbol painted on it.

Why Is It Important To Get a High Like Count on Instagram?

Getting lots of likes is a mere euphoric confidence booster and a source of validation for some. But likes are also incredibly important for content creators to track how much Instagram engagement their post is driving. Lots of likes tell them that their audience enjoys the content they put out. They can then use this information to improve and make informed decisions about their content strategy moving forward.

Likes also drive a post’s engagement rate, which the Instagram algorithm prioritizes when ranking them on the feed. The more likes your post gets, the higher its position on people’s feeds and potentially the Explore page as well. That means more people might come across your post, boosting discoverability and overall engagement for your brand.

A high number of likes is also social proof that your content is worth paying attention to and engaging with. If users see familiar usernames and stellar numbers on your posts’ Like Counter, they’ll be more inclined to follow you.

Note, however, that buying or generating fake likes to reap all these benefits is a huge no-no. Instagram is always on the lookout for accounts that generate inauthentic activity, like fake likes. These pages are then typically put on a shadowban, harming your online presence.

How To Hide Like Count on Instagram by Navigating Your Instagram Like Settings

Back in 2019, Instagram conducted something of an experiment. The platform rolled out a feed that didn’t show the iconic Like Counter on posts. That way, no one would know how many likes each post received.

According to Instagram head Adam Mosseri, this “depressurized” Instagram and made it “less of a competition.” They rolled it out so that people could post creative content they loved free from the shackles of social pressure.

However, after two years, Instagram found that removing the Like Counter doesn’t depressurize the platform much. People still create content in a way they know will get them genuine engagement and likes.

So now, Instagram allows every user to choose whether they want their Like Counter displayed on posts. That means that if you don’t feel comfortable with others seeing your like count, you can hide it from them.

Do you want to learn how to hide the like count on Instagram? Here’s how to do it step by step in your Instagram Like Settings:

1. On your Instagram profile, click the three horizontal lines on the top-right.

2. Scroll to the What You See section and click Like and Share counts.

Path Social’s screenshot of Instagram’s settings menu with a red box highlighting “Like and share counts.”

3. Switch the toggle on for Hide like & share counts.

Path Social’s screenshots of the “Hide like & share counts” toggle being switched on.

Note that if you hide your content’s like count, you won’t be able to see other people’s like count either.

You can also choose to hide a post’s like count in its advanced settings section before publishing it.

Path Social’s screenshots of a post’s “Hide like and view counts on this post” toggle being switched on.

Do you want to hide the Like count on an already published post? Just click the three dots on top of the post and hit “Hide like count.”

How To See Someone’s Likes on Instagram

Are you interested in exploring the Like Counter on another user’s post? It’s super easy, and you can do it in seconds! Here’s how to see someone’s likes on Instagram.

Open the Instagram app and look for the post with the Like Counter you’d like to see. If that person’s settings allow others to see their likes, you’ll see the total number of likes under the post.

How To See Someone’s Hidden Likes on Instagram

Are you curious about how to see someone’s hidden likes on Instagram? Unfortunately, there’s no way to see the post’s total like count if the poster has chosen to hide it. If they don’t allow others to see their likes count, their posts should say, “Liked by [username] and x others.” Only the post owner will be able to see the total number of likes.

You can, however, see who liked their content. Click on Others to open the full list of users who have liked the post. You’ll see people you know and interact with most at the top of the list.

Pro tip: You can use a third-party website like Phlanx to see the like count on a post with hidden likes! Note that it only works on public posts.

Can I Hide What I Like on Instagram?

If you’re self-conscious about the content you engage with, you might ask, “Can I hide what I like on Instagram?” Unfortunately, no, you can’t—at least not totally.

When you like a piece of content on Instagram, the platform will add you to the list of likers on that post. If someone who follows you sees that post, your username may appear in the list of likers. That said, someone would have to go out of their way to find out if you liked a specific post.

To be fair, it used to be a lot harder to hide your likes on Instagram. The platform used to have a “Following” tab years back. On this tab, you could see what your friends were liking and commenting on. However, in an effort to increase privacy and control over what people see about others, Instagram removed this tab.

A woman double-tapping on an Instagram post on her phone to like it.

How To Hide Likes on Instagram: Let No One Know What You’re Liking

Are you wondering how to hide likes on Instagram so that no one knows what content you’re engaging with? Well, that’s a pretty tall order, given that anyone can see whether you’ve liked a post or not. If you really want to hide what you like, you have to be creative in how you hack the system.

One thing you can do is create a “Finsta,” aka a secondary Instagram account. Make sure no one you know follows you on that burner account. There, you can freely like whatever content you please without being self-conscious about the posts you’re engaging with.

Another tip for those who don’t want others to see the posts they like is to save those posts instead. Have a habit of hitting the bookmark icon on posts you enjoy instead of literally liking them.

Saving content on Instagram has tons of benefits, like being able to revisit it later. You can also organize your saved posts into personal collections to easily categorize them. Save content specific to travel, beauty, food, cute cat content, or whatever you like!

Do you want to let someone know you love their content without having to like the post? Leave a comment or send them a DM praising them instead! Even if you express appreciation for the post, no one will see your username on the list of likers.

A woman with glasses and office attire pressing her index finger to her lips in a “shh” motion.

Tips To Get More Likes on Your Content

Are you trying to get a higher like count on your posts? Here are some of our tried and tested tips for boosting engagement in the form of likes:

  • Churn out entertaining, relatable, and helpful content. Make sure the posts you publish are interesting, whether it’s because they’re funny or add value to people’s lives. Enriching content always gets more likes than boring, unimpactful ones. 
  • Include trendy hashtags in your post’s caption. This boosts the visibility of your post so that even those who don’t follow you might see it. That can potentially increase your likes significantly.
  • Collaborate with popular content creators within your niche and feature them in your content. It doesn’t have to be a full-blown influencer marketing campaign. Even just a one-time post with a well-loved influencer in it is sure to boost your like count.
  • Use Instagram Insights to get valuable insights that will help you improve your content. Find out what types of creative content excite your audience. Then, create more of that to garner more likes moving forward.

Someone tapping twice on an Instagram post to give it a like.

Get a Higher Instagram Like Count on Your Posts With Path Social!

Do you want more likes on the content you work so hard on? Follow our tips above to churn out high-quality content that captures attention and drives engagement. But if you want an even faster way to boost your like count, focus on growing your audience size. The more people see your content, the more likes it is likely to receive.

Path Social can help you create a solid, engaged audience by boosting your follower count with authentic fans. Our team uses AI to find your niche audience and promote your posts to them, boosting your brand’s discoverability. Consequently, you’ll notice significant growth not just in followers but also in the number on your posts’ Instagram Like Counter. 

So, what are you waiting for? Work with Path Social to get more followers and Instagram Likes today!