What originally began as a test in Canada, has now expanded to six more countries. Instagram first started testing hiding likes in May, as a way to put more focus on the content being shared, as opposed to measuring how well it does. Users in Ireland, Italy, Japan, Australia, Brazil, and New Zealand have recently began seeing the number of likes disappear.
The good news is that you can still see the number of likes an image gets that you post. The number won’t show up under your post, as you are used to seeing. Tap “others” under your post and you will be able to go through the total number of likes.
“As you scroll through your feed, there are no like counts,” explained Mark Zuckerberg at F8. “You can see who liked a photo or video, you can tap through to see [the list], and if you have the time you can add them all up yourself.” How will you know if your likes are being hidden? A banner pop-up will note “Testing a Change to How You See Likes.”
Why is Instagram testing this?
The answer is quite simple: to make you happier. As mentioned, they want the focus to be on the photos and videos you post, not how many likes they get. If a post doesn’t get enough likes, people delete them to make it seem like all of their photos are hits (TechCrunch). There is a lot of pressure in the Instagram world, and this test is designed to help take some of that pressure away.
According to a 2017 survey published by the U.K.’s Royal Society for Public Health, 14-to-24-year-olds found Instagram to be the social media platform with the worst impact on mental health, reporting that it negatively affected their sleep, body image and “FOMO,” or fear of missing out (AdAge). Hiding likes is a strategy to help reduce social media related anxiety, online bullying, and the pressure to get as many likes as possible.
In addition to the number of likes your content gets, you should also be taking into account these other analytics.
Dara Schlossmann is an Influencer Manager at Foodie Tribe. In her free time you will find her taking advantage of the sunny Florida weather, traveling, or in the kitchen cooking up a new recipe.