Instagram's Latest Update Deemphasizes Follower Counts

A few weeks ago, Instagram profiles displayed follower and following counts quite prominently, placing a heavy emphasis on a user's total number of connections on the app. Now, the company has vastly redesigned profiles, strongly deemphasizing numbers and giving attention to bios. 

As you can see below, the new update pushes the counts to the bottom and shows them in a much smaller font, placing the user's name, pictures, and bio above with much more emphasis.

You'll notice in the above screenshot that Instagram also completely removed total post counts. The company calls the changes a test of ways to "better express yourself and more easily connect with the people you care about on your profile." So, the new look might not be permanent, but it does seem that their intention is to reduce the focus on numbers and increase organic and meaningful interaction. At the same time, the platform thrives on increasing the total number of interactions, and as they continue to crack down on things like bots, this is likely a way to encourage an increase in genuine interaction to restore some user satisfaction that has gone down due to such issues.

Lead image by Pixabay, used under Creative Commons.

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Felix Wu's picture

Mine app still has the same old format.

davidlovephotog's picture

The only thing I would take from this is that the founders of Instagram have quit because Mark Zuckerberg refused their wishes of keeping it separate than Facebook. And Facebook went straight to hell as soon as he started talking about focusing on families instead of the companies that have been paying him to boost their stuff. He will not stop until every thing he is associated with is ruined. He couldn't buy Snapchat so he ripped it off with Stories. So he ruined that company as well.

Rather than count the dollars from entertainment people and creatives drawing people to his sites, he ignores them. They can remove likes altogether for all I care. They don't equal business and anyone can buy them so they aren't real. Sean Parker confessed that their plan was that us talking monkeys would post something, get a few likes, get excited, post something else, get more likes and on and on. I no longer let social sites use me, I use them. Youtube is my video host for free, Facebook and Instagram are my portfolio sites for free and Patreon is where I actually spend my time. Oh and Twitter is where I write to Adobe every time I update my programs and realize I am paying $50 a month to be a beta tester.

Deleted Account's picture

You're still being used by every one of those platforms as an audience for advertising through impressions. A lot of companies are paying facebook, youtube, twitter, and all of the others for the opportunity to show you a product that they think you might buy based on the pages you like... So in a way, likes do equal business. Even further down the rabbit hole and digital banners are being presented to you based on the websites you visit, your credit card transactions, and the places you physically visit while your phone is in your pocket. Advertising is what will keep social networks around forever.

Hell even the typical FStoppers page has at least 5 digital display ads in various sizes.

Sorry for the rant... I've eaten a lot of turkey lately.

robertc's picture

I’ll add that it’s MUCH more than what you post, the pages you like, etc.. The Facebook Pixel tracks you everywhere you go and enables marketers, like myself, to create audiences based on the simple fact that you visited my website and what you did there. It also gathers much more data and enables ads to be targeted to you based off of income, residence type, spending habits, family size, etc. because it tracks you everywhere and most sites have one installed, letting it paint a very complete image of you. Anyone claiming to not be “used” by social media is kidding themselves. You can justify it by stating you store poorly compressed images on their server, so you’re shoving it to the man, but advertisers are making thousands of dollars off you alone, and FB is using you and your data to fatten their wallet.

davidlovephotog's picture

Ad blocker is a wonderful thing.

robertc's picture

Yes it is

Deleted Account's picture

Fellow marketing professional eh?

robertc's picture


Ryan Burleson's picture

Best update they could do to Instagram is /fdisk

Alexander Petrenko's picture

Users: give us chronological feed
Instagram: look, we removed photos count

Alexander Lauterbach's picture

Updated my IG App yesterday and I'm now back at the old design. Seems that Instagram changed it back.

Isaac Holyk's picture

Instagram is a shitty joke. So many photographers just take pictures with a dslr and then load it to the cell to load to Instagram.... stupid. They just need to allow uploads from the PC and stop trying to force people to use a cell phone. I am a developer and I want to start building an all in one replacement for all the social media sites. Social media sites do not need to collect everything about you down to your GPS location, these should be things that you choose to add for your overall user experience not by default. Until people realize that they will be just fine without social media and stop using it then this will never stop. I know, how about you go and see people in person or pick up the phone. Likes are like a drug. People get addicted to the rush of seeing how many likes their posts gets and it can be an addiction. Social media companies play off this and do it on purpose to make you use their services. As far as the Ad sense ads that is just monetization via google or whoever, so you can fund your site. when you sign up for google e mail you get a tracking number so that ads and search results are more relevant to you. It is really all about creating the best user experience not stealing or mis using your info. The developer that creates the site can put as many ads as they want anywhere they want and it is completely up to them.