Instagram to try banning likes everywhere as test rolls out globally

Feature is aimed at making app a healthier place to be

Andrew Griffin
Thursday 14 November 2019 17:07 GMT
(AFP/Getty Images)

Instagram is to try banning likes across the world.

The company has confirmed that its trial of hidden like counts – which had initially run only in select countries – will now be run globally.

Not everyone will see their likes removed, at least straight away. But the test will be arriving everywhere.

And it appears likely that the change will eventually make it across the world if the test goes well.

Instagram has been hiding likes for some users in some countries since earlier this year. It began in Canada but has since moved out to a wide range of countries, and Facebook has also tried the same in Australia.

After the change, users will be able to see who has liked their post, if they click on the list of likes. But they won't be able to see a count, even in the hidden settings, and the only way to work it out would be to count up the names.

Earlier this week, Instagram boss Adam Mosseri had explained on Twitter that the rollout would be coming to new the US.

"Heads up! We've been testing making likes private on Instagram in a number of countries this year. We're expanding those tests to include a small portion of people in the US next week," he wrote. "Looking forward to the feedback!"

In a follow-up tweet, he explained that the change was aimed at making Instagram a more healthy place to be.

"Our interest in hiding likes really is just to depressurize Instagram for young people. It'll likely effect how much some people engage on Instagram, probably liking a bit less and posting a bit more, but the main thing we're trying to learn is how this effects how people feel."

In another tweet, he addressed the fact that likes can be an important tool to measure the engagement on a post so that influencers and marketers know how many people their picture has reached. Mr Mosseri said the company would be watching the situation and hoped to improve the ecosystem so that those people would have other ways of understanding the popularity of their posts.

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