Instagram "Like" Counts Might Be Changing, So Prepare To Say Goodbye To The Importance Of The 11th "Like"

Big news, Instagrammers: The almighty 11th “like?” It might not be sticking around for much longer. Rumor has it that Instagram “like” counts might be changing such that a photo no longer requires 11 virtual thumbs up before the count ticks over into all numbers. Previously, for the first 10 “likes,” all posts on Instagram displayed the usernames of people who “liked” each photo in a list; once the 11th “like” arrived, though, the list vanished and was replaced only with a number. Apparently the need to wait with baited breath for that final "like" to arrive, however, may soon be a thing of the past.

According to Mashable, the new method of displaying likes is currently being tested; a spokesperson confirmed the test to the outlet, but didn’t reveal any other details about it. Bustle also reached out to Instagram and received confirmation from a spokesperson that the feature is a test.

Eleven likes may not seem like a big deal, but as the Daily Dot put it back in 2014, “An Instagram post lives or dies by its 11th like.” As such, getting rid of that threshold might be completely game-changing — even though I’m not totally sure how at the moment.

We’re not sure how long the testing has been going on, although if the Twittersphere is anything to go by, it seems to have surfaced within the last couple of days — people have been tweeting screenshots of their new Instagram “like” counters, which admittedly kind of makes me laugh. Why? Because the idea of sharing a new social media convention via a different form of social media strikes me as overwhelmingly meta and therefore hilarious. (Yes, I’m easily amused; why do you ask?)

I'm unclear about whether four is actually being tested as a threshold, by the way, but I suppose it might be. We'll have to wait and see until more details arrive, though.

In any event, Bustle’s very own Michelle Toglia spotted the new “like” count in action on her own account on Tuesday, Feb. 16; furthermore, she was able to snap a few screenshots of her feed earlier today showing posts from other accounts with numbered yet less-than-11 “like” counts:

So there you have it. This, on top of video view counts — what's next?

I’ll be honest: Changes in how Instagram works very rarely affect me, because I am one of the few remaining people in the world who does not actually use it. However, I can still appreciate the enormity of this particular one; I have enough experience adding up likes and followers on other forms of social media that I know all too well how much those numbers matter — or at least, how much they feel like they matter. Sometimes I have to remind myself that social media is actually more like Whose Line Is It Anyway? than anything else: Everything is made up and the points don’t matter.

What say you, Instagrammers? Is getting rid of the 11 “like” threshold a good idea? A terrible one? Does it ultimately really not matter? You be the judge!

Images: Michelle Toglia/Bustle (3)