Instagram Is Hiding 'Like' Numbers in Six Countries to Help Its Users

Six countries are currently undergoing Instagram's test of hiding the number of likes per post.
Fabienne Lang

Social media photo posting app, Instagram, is testing out hiding the number of likes on posts in six countries, in a bid to lessen social media pressure on its users. 

The countries included in the trial that started on Thursday are Australia, Canada, Italy, Brazil, Ireland, and New Zealand.


The reason the social media app is testing this version is due to concerns from low self-esteem and feelings of inadequacy in users, who end up relying on the number of likes to feel good or worthy. 

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Instagram knows what’s up! Instagram users in Australia will no longer be able to see how many likes a post has a received under trial changes to “remove pressure” on the digital platform. Goodbye to likes, goodbye to social stigmas, goodbye to unrealistic standards. Hello mental health. Although it’s not a cure, it is absolutely a small win for society. Fabulous image and post by @thebornalchemist ?? . . . . . . . . . . . #instagramlikes #instagram #instagramaustralia #therapist #clinical #medical #relaxation #counselling #cbt #anxietymanagementskills #communicationtraining #womenshealth #pregnancyhealth #mentalhealth #familyhealth #northernbeaches #northshore #easternsuburbs

A post shared by Sue Hawkins (Therapist) (@yourpregnancymatters_) on

"Remove pressure" and improve content

What will users now see instead of the likes?

You'll still be able to see the number of likes on each post once you click on the users' names -- the difference is that no one else will be able to see them. 

What others will see on your profile instead is a name or two of people who did like your post then "others." Clean and simple. 

What Instagram hopes will happen is that users will switch their main focus to posting incredible content and captions, instead of trying to amalgamate the highest number of likes on each post. 

"We hope the test will remove the pressure of how many likes a post will receive, so you can focus on sharing the things that you love," said Mia Garlick, Facebook Australia and New Zealand director of policy.  

Garlick adds that the shift will hopefully move users away from feeling judged and more towards "telling their story."

Adam Mosseri, Instagram chief, echoed Garlick's sentiments and said: "We want people to worry less about how many likes they're getting on Instagram and spend a bit more time connecting with the people that they care about."

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This is an admirable sentiment in many ways, but what will happen to influencers, who rely on the number of likes their posts receive? We'll have to wait and see as the test continues to be carried out. 

Reactions have been mixed, with some praising the change and others feeling disgruntled.

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