Instagram has been testing out a change that hides the “likes” counter on posts around the world for months, but not in the US. According to Instagram head Adam Mosseri, that’s about to change. During an interview at the Wired 25 event last week, Mosseri explained that it will start testing the change in the US next week, “not the whole US at once,” but enough that some of you will have it on your profiles. Instagram hiding likes could have an impact on social media personalities.
With the test enabled, people still see the number of likes on their own posts, but not other people. He said the purpose is to “depressurize” Instagram, and they’re looking to see how it impacts the feelings of users, as well as how they continue to interact with the platform.
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
Instagram has previously said “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.”
When and where the test is enabled, looking at someone else’s profile simply shows a picture has been liked by [one name] and others. There is a belief that people only like pictures based on the number of people that have liked it previously. Instagram hiding likes seems like an odd choice, because I never knowing like-based likes was a thing.
That is not to say that we don’t look at the number of likes of our own pictures. However, many social media personalities use likes to draw sponsorship. Since likes won’t be viewed to anyone, except the account holder, it could stymie the number of potential sponsor from approaching you for their brand. So, it will be interesting to see how it works in the states. If Instagram hides likes on your account, let us know in the comments below.