This month, Instagram began testing hiding like counts on posts in the United States. Likes have not been completely removed, though. A user can still see how many likes their own posts got, but it will not go public. Also, users can still see if people they are following have liked a post, and who. This test has already taken place in other countries like Canada and Australia.
Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, said at the Wired 25 Summit in San Francisco “The idea is to try to ‘depressurize’ Instagram, make it less of a competition and give people more space to focus on connecting with people that they love, things that inspire them.”
So far, most of the responses have been positive. Many normal users and even celebrities have commented on the change to posts saying how it can improve mental health and make the platform less of a ‘competition’, though, the hiding of like counts has hurt some online businesses and influencers. But, as Mosseri said, Instagram was willing to “make decisions that hurt the business if they help people’s well-being and health.”
Also, it is important to know that this change will not occur on all accounts. Only certain ones have been selected to receive the change and be a part of the ‘test group’. Users that have been affected by the change may see a banner on the top of their feed saying “We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get. During this test, only you will be able to see the total number of likes on your posts.” Since this change is just a test, it is unlikely that it will become permanent.