Instagram is about to start a test of hiding ‘like’ counts as a way to make “a less pressurized environment” on the app.
“We want people to worry a little bit less about how many likes they’re getting on Instagram and spend a bit more time connecting with the people that they care about,” said Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram.
He was speaking at the keynote of F8, Facebook’s annual software developer conference in San Jose, California on Tuesday.
The testing is expected to begin this week in Canada ahead of presumably a wider rollout, depending on how it’s received there.
“Later this week, we’re running a test in Canada that removes the total number of likes on photos and video views in Feed, Permalink pages and Profile,” an Instagram spokesperson told TechCrunch.
“We are testing this because we want your followers to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get.”
As part of the change, users scrolling through your feed would see only your posts and no indication of the number of people who liked them.
While account owners will be able to look at who liked their own post, they won’t be able to see how many likes someone else’s post got unless they manually count them.
“We don’t want Instagram to feel like a competition,” Mosseri added.
The decision to run a test of hiding like counts is coming as the social media platform expands its efforts to combat obsession and online bullying.
Instagram, a photo and video-sharing social networking site owned by Facebook, is a major tool of communication among celebrities and young folks.