Popular image sharing platform Instagram recently carried out a test in Canada that disabled the users to see likes on other people’s post. As a continuation of the ‘test’ the popular networking app has now expanded its test to six more countries. Users in Australia, Japan, Brazil, Italy, New Zealand and Ireland will now not be able to count likes on their friends’ posts.
The effort has come after the backlash on Instagram for instigating mental pressure on its teen users and putting them through unnecessary social media pressure. The image sharing app now says the effort of hiding likes is to reduce pressure on users who are concerned over the number of likes they get – thus translating to their ‘popularity’ among friends.
“We hope this test will remove the pressure of how many likes a post will receive, so you can focus on sharing the things you love,” said Mia Garlick, Policy Director Facebook Australia and New Zealand.
We want your friends to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get. You can still see your own likes by tapping on the list of people who've liked it, but your friends will not be able to see how many likes your post has received.
— Instagram (@instagram) July 17, 2019
“We want Instagram to be a place where people feel comfortable expressing themselves,” speaking further Garlick added, “The goal is to see whether this change can help people focus less on likes and more on telling their story.”
While you may not be able to see likes on your friends posts in the abovementioned countries, you can very well keep a count for yourself by clicking on an option that will land you to another page. This way, Instagram says business measurement tools would not be affected for entrepreneurs using the image sharing website.
Despite referring to the new feature as test, Instagram has however not clarified when will this feature end. It is to be seen whether Instagram chooses to bring back the likes count for everyone or converts this test into a permanent feature worldwide.