Instagram started testing a really interesting change to its app that hid like counts from users in Canada. The test involved users seeing like counts only on their own posts, meaning their followers weren’t able to view the like counts of their posts.
And this week, Instagram is expanding the test to more regions. The company is making the test available in six more countries, including Ireland, Italy, Japan, Brazil, Australia, and New Zealand.
The test will work similarly to how it did in Canada — your followers won’t be able to view how many likes your posts get, but you will still be able to see how many likes your own posts get. The change doesn’t affect comment counts.
The test changes one of the fundamental points of social media. People — especially on Instagram — tend to care a lot about how many likes their posts get, and some people are obsessed with like counts to a point where it’s borderline unhealthy. And so Instagram is tackling that by taking away like counts to make the platform safer and, well, social. “We don’t want Instagram to feel like a competition. We hope to learn whether this change can help people focus less on likes and more on telling their story.” an Instagram spokesperson said in a statement to the Independent.
Instagram says it still has a lot to learn on how taking away like counts affect the Instagram experience, and so it could be a while till the test makes its way to more countries. That’s if the test actually becomes a permanent change, of course.