As of Wednesday 17 June, Instagram has been running a test in Ireland which removes the number of likes on posts in Feed, Permalink pages, and Profile.
The social media giant – which has already run similar tests in Canada – announced in a press release that it began testing the new feature last week that’ll hide users’ public like counts on posts containing videos and photos.
Only the person who owns the account will be able to see how many likes their content has received.
The objective behind the move is to encourage users to post more authentic content that doesn't have to be validated by reaction.
"We are testing this because we want followers to focus on the photos and videos shared, not how many likes they get," the Facebook-owned company wrote. "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."
Instagram users will see be able to see their own likes by tapping on the liker list, but others will not be able to see how many likes a post has received. Likewise, an Instagram user will not be able to see how many likes others' posts have received.
This test is an extension of a test that began in Canada in May. However, the company maintains that there’s still a lot to learn when it comes to how removing likes impacts the Instagram experience. The Canadian test concluded during the week with users regaining likes earlier this week.
“We want Instagram to be a place where people feel comfortable expressing themselves," Tara Hopkins, Head of Public Policy, EMEA at Instagram said, commenting on the new move.
"This includes helping people to focus on the photos and videos they share, not how many likes they get. We are now rolling the test out to more countries so we learn more from our global community and see how this can benefit people's experiences on Instagram.”
Main image by @lilyrose_depp
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