The popular photo-sharing site, Instagram is now launching a small global test on Wednesday where users can choose whether to hide like counts on their own posts or other people’s posts, as stated by a spokeswoman for parent Facebook Inc.
Instagram, which is owned by Facebook Inc (FB. O), stated that this recent experiment came after observing mixed responses to its tests in which it removed likes, generally employed as a measure of popularity. The company started testing the option to hide likes on posts in the year 2019, first in Canada and later around the world. While the users couldn’t view the total number of likes a post received, the owner of the account still could, Instagram stated at the time. However, viewers of the post could click to view a complete list of the accounts who liked it, but they wouldn’t see an exact number of likes.
“In 2019, we started hiding like counts for a small group of people to understand if it lessens some pressure when posting to Instagram,” the spokeswoman said in a statement. “Some people found this beneficial but some still wanted to see like counts so they could track what’s popular.”
Moreover, Facebook is also exploring a similar feature which will be launched in the coming weeks, she said, in response to users asking for more controls over how they interact with content on the platform. Facebook has previously experimented with hiding likes on others’ posts in Australia.
Furthermore, the previous month, Instagram accidentally hid likes for a large number of users in what was expected to be a small test, earned strong reactions. Some Instagram users saw it as a necessary step for users’ mental health, whereas others observed it as catastrophic for creators partnering with famous labels. In addition to it, users in the Instagram test will still be capable to privately view their own like count. The experiment will include a small percentage of worldwide users, but the company refused to mention the exact number.
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