Instagram is currently testing a new feature that allows users to choose whether or not they want to see likes on their posts. The company is doing this in hopes to understand whether or not removing this feature will lessen some social pressure that the app is known to create.
Users will also be able to choose whether or not they want to retain the original experience, which involves keeping visible likes. In 2019, Instagram started testing secret likes in Canada, and later expanded to the rest of the world. Outsiders couldn’t see the total number of likes the post got, but the account’s owner did.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Facebook said:
“In 2019, we started hiding like counts for a small group of people to understand if it lessens some pressure when posting to Instagram. Some people found this beneficial but some still wanted to see like counts so they could track what’s popular.”
Because of the coronavirus global pandemic, Instagram put a hold on any updates to the like count functionality, but it is now reviewing the feedback. Instagram had hoped that hiding likes would help alleviate anxiety or social tension, but recent studies revealed that not everyone agreed that removing likes was a cause for better change.
Though the trial will initially be limited to Instagram, Facebook has announced that a similar feature will be tested on their own website.
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