Instagram is expanding its hide “Like” count tests to the US this week. The platform’s head, Adam Mosseri, tweeted out the following announcement on Saturday.
Mosseri first touched upon the removal of like counts in the US during an interview at the Wired 25 event. He later officially tweeted out the confirmation after the publication published his comments in an article.
With like counts hidden, users will still be able to see the number of people that like their posts. However, they will not be able to see the number of likes on another person’s posts. Instead, posts from someone else’s profile will display — “liked by (one name) and others.”
Mosseri told Wired, “The idea is to try to depressurize Instagram, make it less of a competition, and give people more space to focus on connecting with the people they love and things that inspire them.” According to the Instagram CEO, the intention is to “reduce anxiety and social comparison.”
Instagram has over 110 million users in the US, higher than any other country. Many of those users are unhappy with the move because like counts are a large part of asserting popularity on the platform. Here’s just a small sample of the backlash:
These are just some of the many unhappy reactions from Instagram users in the US. However, there are also those who appreciate the move.
Hidden like counts on Instagram are especially bad for influencers who depend on them for promotional campaigns. It is also a way of determining if the engagement on a post is through real followers or fake ones. On the flip side, comparing like counts can be detrimental to one’s psyche and fuel the fear of missing out.
“We’re going to put a 15-year-old kid’s interests before a public speaker’s interest. When we look at the world of public content, we’re going to put people in that world before organizations and corporations,” Mosseri said of the pushback.
The only respite for those who don’t want their Instagram like counts hidden in the US is that the testing is limited as of now. Instagram could very well decide to retain the feature if it does not get a positive feedback from the tests.
If like counts do disappear for you on Instagram, you could try out this nifty trick to see them again. We’re not sure if it’ll work in your region, but it’s definitely worth a shot.
Do you think Instagram should hide like counts in the spirit of reducing anxiety and social comparison? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
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