Instagram tests hiding like count in a bid to 'remove pressure'
The social media platform says it wants people to 'focus less on likes and more on telling their story'
Instagram is testing a new feature that will hide the number of likes a picture gets.
From Thursday, users of the photo-sharing platform in several countries around the world will no longer be able to see how many people have liked an image, instead seeing just a user name “and others” where the like count usually appears.
Instagram says it is trialling the move in a bid to “remove pressure” felt by users to receive a certain number of likes for images they share.
Users will still be able to see the number of likes they receive on their own posts, but the number will not be visible to their followers. Users will still be able to see a list of who has liked a post by clicking into it, however.
The update is being trialled in Ireland, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil and Japan, according to reports.
"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," Mia Garlick, Facebook Australia and New Zealand director of policy, said.
She added that the hope was that the update would lead to people feeling less judged, and help them to “focus less on likes and more on telling their story”.
The trial follows the introduction of new moderation measures from Instagram earlier this month, which detect any comments deemed to be hurtful or offensive before they are posted, prompting users to receive a "Are you sure you want to post this?" message.
"From early tests of this feature, we have found that it encourages some people to undo their comment and share something less hurtful once they have had a chance to reflect," Instagram said in its statement.
"This is especially crucial for teens since they are less likely to report online bullying even when they are the ones who experience it the most," Instagram added of the new measure.
Updated: July 18, 2019 11:57 AM