Instagram has announced that it is now expanding the testing of a feature that will hide the number of likes on a post globally. This essentially means that people will not be able to see the total number of likes and views on others’ posts. The Facebook-owned photo and video sharing app announced the development via Twitter. The platform also said that it was aware of the fact that 'like' counts are important for content creators, and said that it is working on ways so that creators can ‘communicate value to their partners.’
Starting today, we’re expanding our test of private like counts globally. If you’re in the test, you’ll no longer see the total number of likes and views on photos and videos posted to Feed unless they’re your own. pic.twitter.com/DztSH0xiq2— Instagram (@instagram) 14 November 2019
Facebook’s intentions of going global are good, but the move has been attracting flak from some corners on the internet. Getting ‘Likes’ has been a popular feature on Instagram and it has helped people establish a follower base on Instagram basis which they generate revenue. On the contrary, there is a majority of people who feel left out and ‘bad’ because the number of ‘Likes’ on their posts are not enough.
Studies have found that people don't post things fearing they won’t get enough likes, or they could remove posts that didn’t perform well. Instagram argues that by removing the likes count, they could help relieve that pressure. This would eventually push people to spend more time on Instagram. On the flip side, those who depend on followers and likes on their posts will have a hard time in proving the value of their posts to advertisers. But the good news is that the company is working to find a way so that these creators can communicate with advertisers and partners.
In addition, we understand that like counts are important for many creators, and we are actively thinking through ways for creators to communicate value to their partners.— Instagram (@instagram) 14 November 2019
Instagram also says that it has got positive feedback from early testing in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Japan and New Zealand. When we checked, several users in India are already seeing the changes on their accounts, while others are still able to see likes and views on others’ images and videos. The company is also testing the same feature for Facebook.