Instagram has long been toying with the idea of hiding the ‘like’ count on posts for users around the world. The social media giant started testing the new feature in Australia, Canada, Brazil, Italy, and other countries earlier this year and now they’re ready to test the feature in the U.S. Instagram hopes this change will make the platform a much friendlier place for younger users.
Heads up! We’ve been testing making likes private on Instagram in a number of countries this year. We’re expanding those tests to include a small portion of people in the US next week. Looking forward to the feedback!
— Adam Mosseri (@mosseri) November 9, 2019
During an interview with Wired, Instagram head Adam Mosseri explained that the test will start sometime this week, “not in whole US at once, but enough that some of you will have it on your profiles.”
While the test is underway, Instagram will no longer show the ‘like’ feature on a user’s post or feed. Instead, users will now only see a couple of usernames followed by “and others” in place of where the ‘like’ count would normally be. Users will still be able to see a breakdown on how many likes their posts got through a separate section of the app, but this information will only be available to them and not anyone following them.
We’re currently running a test that hides the total number of likes and video views for some people in the following countries:
✅ New Zealand pic.twitter.com/2OdzpIUBka
— Instagram (@instagram) July 17, 2019
“It’s about young people,” Mosseri said. “The idea is to try and depressurise Instagram, make it less of a competition, give people more space to focus on connecting with people that they love, things that inspire them.”
While Instagram hopes this test will have a positive impact on those using their platform, the feature has proven to be quite unpopular for users in Australia and Canada, with popular influencers and advertisers complaining that the test could harm their ability to monetise their posts.