For a while now, Instagram has been testing a new feature that hides like counts on users’ posts, but the test has been quite limited to some accounts in a few countries. Now, the Facebook-owned company has announced that it will be rolling out this test globally with more people.
This new feature allows Instagram hide the like counts on users posts from public view. This does not mean the social platform is getting rid of the likes feature altogether. Users can however still like posts and see if any other mutual follower has liked a post earlier, but the total number of likes won’t be shown.
On the user’s end, the number of people who have liked their posts will still be seen, this means the like count becomes a private feature.
Prior to this global test, the feature had been available in countries like Ireland, Italy, Japan, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand since July.
Nevertheless, the global rollout is still a test and as such only some Instagram users will be notified about this feature and find their like counts hidden. For the several other users, the platform will just look as it always has.
The reason behind this new feature that is being tested is to ensure that users mental wellbeing and health is cared for. User’s feed are most times overrun with pictures showing flashy lifestyles and wealth, and these are the pictures that get the most likes. For many other users who don’t have such privileges, the pressure to post such good content to garner likes is huge.
With this new feature, Instagram is sort of taking away the ‘popularity contest’ and letting users focus on the pictures, videos and memories shared and not the number of likes gotten.
However, as good as the gesture is, the like counts are very important to some set of people. The social media influencers and creators users this as a metric to prove how much their followers relate with their contents to potential advertisers.
To this end, Instagram has acknowledged that it is actively “thinking through ways for creators to communicate value to their partners.”
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