When you’re scrolling through pictures of animals on Instagram (or shoes… whatever), you can’t help but notice that often-large number under each picture showing how many people have ‘liked’ that photo of little Rover playing in the garden.
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) November 14, 2019
For the less-than popular individuals (on social media, that is), it can be disheartening when you post a photo you really like, only to see that like count remain firmly at five – two of which are your parents. Most individuals will delete a photo that doesn’t ‘perform’ well, as research has shown we tend to get a thrill – and a feeling of validation – when the numbers are higher.
It’s for this reason that Instagram has been testing a scheme where the number of likes will be hidden, and only the posters themselves will be able to see how the picture performed. On other users’ posts, the name of one person who has liked the post, followed by ‘and others’ will replace numbers. The experiment was previously being trialled in the United States, but it has now officially been rolled out globally, with users being chosen at random worldwide.
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) November 14, 2019
Instagram also hopes the move will de-pressurize the platform and help users focus on the picture they’re sharing rather than the amount of likes, as well as making the app a kinder place for young people. And influencers don’t have to worry – Instagram stated that while they’re testing a no-like scheme, they will figure out a way creators can still communicate the value of their posts. You can breathe out now.