Yesterday, Instagram tested a new functionality where users can choose whether to hide like counts on their own posts or other people’s posts, Reuters reports.
Facebook, which owns the photo-sharing site, said this latest test is a result of seeing mixed responses to its experiments where it removed likes — the common measure of online popularity. A Facebook spokeswoman said in a statement: “In 2019, we started hiding like counts for a small group of people to understand if it lessens some pressure when posting to Instagram. Some people found this beneficial but some still wanted to see like counts so they could track what’s popular.”
In addition, Facebook is exploring a similar functionality to start in the upcoming weeks. This comes after Facebook users called for more controls over how they interact with content on the platform. So far, Facebook previously tested hiding likes on others’ posts in Australia.
Last month, Instagram accidentally hid likes for a large number of users, in what was meant to be a small test. This amassed strong reactions — some users saw it as a positive step for users’ mental health, while others saw it “as catastrophic for creators partnering with brands.”
Users selected for the Instagram test will be able to continue privately viewing their own like counts. The test will involve a small percentage of global users, but the company hasn’t disclosed to say how many will actually be taking part.