Still basing your life’s worth off how many likes you have? Well, you are in luck. Instagram is continuing to test hiding likes. This initiative started in May when Instagram announced they were testing removing the feature. Initially starting in Canada, the testing is now expanding involving more countries. Currently, the testing includes: Ireland, Italy, Japan, Brazil, Australia, and New Zealand. In a statement made to The Verge, Instagram explained the reasoning behind the possible change:
“We’re not testing this at the moment, but exploring ways to reduce pressure on Instagram is something we’re always thinking about.”
Known for uncovering unreleased features and security vulnerabilities on social media, researcher Jade Manchun Wong took to Twitter. When the testing first starting, she shared her findings, while providing screenshots of the new interface. The screenshots show her Instagram likes clearly removed, only showing her followers names:
This news comes as social media platforms are focusing on the idea of “digital wellbeing”. Instagram has been rolling out a “You’re All Caught Up” feature to prevent mindless scrolling, while Facebook has added a “Your Time on Facebook” feature. From the Facebook newsroom, Ameet Ranadive, Product Management Director at Instagram, and David Ginsberg, Director of Research at Facebook said:
We developed these tools based on collaboration and inspiration from leading mental health experts and organizations, academics, our own extensive research and feedback from our community. We want the time people spend on Facebook and Instagram to be intentional, positive and inspiring.
In closing, perhaps some of these companies are starting to take action on some of the negative impacts their platforms can have. Earlier this month, Instagram announced its war on bullying. Perhaps hiding the amount of likes will indeed remove the pressure for all.