UPDATE (July 18, 2019): Last May, Instagram had announced the elimination of showing the number of likes on posts specifically for users in Canada. However, starting from today, the social media platform has revealed that it is currently running the test on these seven countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Japan and New Zealand.
The purpose of the trial is to tackle users’ low self-esteem issues, especially for Generation Z. “We hope this test will remove the pressure of how many likes a post will receive, so you can focus on sharing the things you love,” says Mia Garlick, director of policy at Facebook Australia and New Zealand.
People will still be able to view the number of likes they get on their own posts, but their followers won’t be able to access that information. Find out what the public thinks of the new feature on Instagram’s Twitter account below:
We want your friends to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get. You can still see your own likes by tapping on the list of people who’ve liked it, but your friends will not be able to see how many likes your post has received.
— Instagram (@instagram) July 17, 2019
The Likes feature that Instagram has relied heavily on throughout the years to engage users is slated to be hidden. According to TechCrunch, the social media platform has its eye set on trying this out solely in Canada. The test would mean that a post creator can still view the Likes, but their followers cannot.
TechCrunch also reports that Instagram has also recently revamped the profile to “make follower count less prominent,” according to Adam Mosseri the app’s Head of Product. The report breaks down that Like totals would still effect how the algorithm ranks a post, in the feed. If launched, the change would shift Instagram into a platform that depends solely upon “self-expression.” This could provide the extra push for users to not measure themselves in comparison to friends and influencers.
In an official statement, an Instagram spokesperson shared more about the upcoming plan:
“Later this week, we’re running a test in Canada that removes the total number of likes on photos and video views in Feed, Permalink pages and Profile. We are testing this because we want your followers to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get.”
A small percentage of Canadian users will become aware of the change via a notice at the top of their feed. It will read: “a change to how you see Likes.” This announcement was rolled out along with a few different product debuts at the Facebook F8 conference.
Stay tuned here as more news emerges.