UPDATE (November 9, 2019): Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri has unveiled that the company plans to test hiding public like counts in the US next week. “We will make decisions that hurt the business if they help people’s well-being and health,” he shared on stage at the WIRED25 conference. Joined by writer Arielle Pardes and actress Tracee Ellis Ross, the talk also brought up the larger need for social media companies to be more accountable for the health and interests of their users. “The idea is to try to depressurize Instagram, make it less of a competition and give people more space to focus on connecting with the people they love and things that inspire them.”
Instagram is trialing hiding the number of likes a post gets from other users. Announcing the test — which is currently taking place in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Japan and New Zealand — Instagram explained that it wanted “your friends to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get.” The news comes after a leak in April, which gave a first look at the feature.
Going on to explain how the new feature would work, Instagram added that “you can still see your own likes by tapping on the list of people who’ve liked it, but your friends will not be able to see how many likes your post has received.” Currently, the test is only affecting “some users” in the seven selected countries, but the photo-sharing service continued that it was “looking forward to learning more about how this change might benefit everyone’s experience on Instagram.”