Apparently Instagram’s decision to hide like counts on users’ posts is going as planned because its parent company Facebook is also working on similar feature. Though, the ability to hide like counts on posts is still being tested, it seems the feature has come to stay—and we could be counting down to a formal or global roll out.
The unreleased feature, according to reliable tipster Jane Manchun Wong is still being tested, and hides the like/reaction count from anyone other than the creator of the post. Recall this is exactly how Instagram’s unreleased version works. Jane adds that the list of those who liked/reacted will still be accessible, while their exact number will not be displayed.
Facebook is working to hide like counts, too!https://t.co/WnUrM12aZg
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) September 2, 2019
Of course, the feature is still being tested, and that is why you won’t see it—and until it is officially done and all tests completed, things are likely to stay that way. The feature is still being developed, and it is still too early to say if a global roll out should be expected or not—keep your fingers cross anyway.
The target here is the overall mental and overall wellbeing of people who use Facebook. It has been said severally that the number of likes generated per posts could have some effect on the mental health of people. This, some people have said could lead to depression—and Instagram and Facebook might just be adding one of the most useful features in recent years.
Instagram users in six more countries including Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Italy, Brazil, and Australia now have access to test hide like counts on their posts. The six countries now join users in Canada who already have access to the test; and will now be able to hide their likes by default. The feature will appear on the posts of users in those countries by default, but will be able to opt out to show the likes publicly.
Instagram in a statement per the BBC said the hide like counts is being added to take away the “pressure” users have on the number of likes they hope to receive on a post. “We hope this test will remove the pressure of how many likes a post will receive, so you can focus on sharing the things you love,” Mia Garlick, Facebook Australia and New Zealand director of policy said in a statement.
The outcome of course, will be that users will feel less judged, and will be able to focus on other important things on the platform. “Whether this change can help people focus less on likes and more on telling their story.”
Users on Instagram has always viewed the number of likes they receive per post as a measurement of their popularity on the platform. Inability or failure to hit the expected likes for each post could sometimes lead to depression on the part of such user.