On Tuesday April 30, 2019, Instagram announced that in Canada, they will be testing a feature that will hide like counts from pictures, as well as view counts from videos. This feature, which is being called the “private likes” testing, will begin later in the week.
The likes, which on the app are represented by hearts, will be unavailable for viewing by Instagram followers, but the owner of the page will still be allowed to see the count. However, a follower will still be able to see if someone liked the post at all; under the post will simply read “Liked by John Doe and others.”
Instagram has announced that they decided to implement the test trials because the team noticed that some people have complained about the lack of likes or view on their posts. The head of Instagram told Buzzfeed that one of the goals was to create a “less pressurized environment” for users so that they feel more comfortable about what they post. The other goal was said to be encouraging users to focus more on the content of a post rather than the fame it received.
There are quite a few people who are on board with this movement. Instagram followers began sharing the news of the “private likes” testing. One person screenshot and posted a snippet of a woman’s article where she was expressing her gratitude and agreement with Instagram’s decision. People began commenting their thoughts right away. One person wrote:
” I’ve not focused on likes or followers, just on trying to provide original quality content (and teaching the same). So I like hearing this.”
While there are some who agree with Instagram’s decision, others are not so pleased. There are a number of people who make money based on the amount of likes and views they receive on their posts; the more feedback they receive, the more money they make. Users opposed to this feature began speaking out on social media about this point of view as well. According to one platform user:
“I’m a content creator, however small. Likes are currency to us. So if you wanna go and tell me I’m “shallow” because I don’t want likes on Instagram gone (or because your pic holding a fish got less likes than my selfie) kindly go away.”
No matter the reactions from users, the Instagram team is still planning to follow through with their testing. Other social media platforms, such as Twitter, have decided to follow Instagram’s idea in a similar fashion. Twitter has created an experimental subdivision of their app called “twttr.” In this app, the retweet and like count are hidden until a user clicks on a reply. The Twitter senior product designer insinuated that this may make users read more. She also suggested that it may make them more engaged in the conversation happening, as opposed to them searching for a high like or retweet count to see if the post is worth their time.
Written by Trinity Oglesby. Edited by Kimberley Spinney.
BuzzFeed.News: Instagram Is Hiding Like Counts From Followers In A Test To See If You’ll Feel Less Horrible
Today: Instagram testing a feature that hides likes and view counts
The Verge: Instagram will test hiding public like counts in Canada
CNN: Instagram is testing hiding your likes
Instagram: User Post
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