21 January 2020
It has been more than six months since Instagram started testing hiding likes in Canada. The test has expanded to seven countries since then and now, it is all set to expand to one of its biggest and most important markets. Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, has announced that they will begin testing hiding likes in the United States starting this week.
Mosseri was speaking at the WIRED25 conference where he shared the rollout plan. He said that hiding likes will be tested with a small set of users around the United States. It means not everyone in the U.S. will see their likes count getting hidden. The exact number of initial testers has not been revealed but they will be selected at random.
If you end up being one of those early testers, you will notice that Instagram posts are visible without any likes count. It means you will not be able to see the number of likes a particular post has received. It should be noted that likes count will be hidden only for posts that appear in your feed, explorer section, and profile of others. You will continue to see the number of likes on your own posts.
The idea behind hiding likes count is to help people not fall for social media approval which can end up affecting one's mental health and self-esteem as well as making them anxious. It is a well-known fact that many people spend hours and hours of time trying to build the "perfect" Instagram profile that will attract more likes and followers count.
With this move, Instagram is hoping that people will focus on sharing posts that they actually want to and not just because something that is likely to get more likes. It will also reduce the tendency of comparing one's own like counts with others. This is something even Facebook is considering testing for its own social media network. It is hard to say when exactly hidden likes feature will be rollout globally and for everyone but with the testing expanding to more markets, it seems like Instagram is getting a favorable response.