Instagram announced it is now expanding its months-long test to hide like counts to the rest of the world, inching the company closer to formally rolling out a core change to the way users engage with the photo-sharing service.
Instagram had already been testing removing likes in several countries, including Australia, Brazil and Canada. Last week, the company said likes would be hidden for some US users, too.
Starting today, we’re expanding our test of private like counts globally. If you’re in the test, you’ll no longer see the total number of likes and views on photos and videos posted to Feed unless they’re your own. pic.twitter.com/DztSH0xiq2
— Instagram (@instagram) November 14, 2019
Instagram is about to hide likes for some US users. Here’s what to expect
Those users who are part of the test will no longer see the total number of likes and views on photos and videos in the feed and on profile pages. However, they will still be able to see how many likes their own posts received.
“While the feedback from early testing has been positive, this is a fundamental change to Instagram, and so we’re continuing our test to learn more from our global community,” a spokesperson for Facebook (FB), which owns Instagram, said in a statement.
Our interest in hiding likes really is just to depressurize Instagram for young people. It'll likely effect how much some people engage on Instagram, probably liking a bit less and posting a bit more, but the main thing we're trying to learn is how this effects how people feel.
— Adam Mosseri (@mosseri) November 11, 2019
Notably, for now, it’s just a test, and the company hasn’t announced more official plans for a permanent change. Even still, there’s already been one unintended consequence: Instagram’s most valuable users — influencers and celebrities — are threatening to leave if the platform eliminates likes.