Instagram has been experimenting with hiding like counts for nearly two years. The experiment began in 2019, but the company has not disclosed anything publicly regarding the result or what it holds for in the future. Now, as per the company’s update on the experiment, it is not enabling or disabling for users. The users can choose which like they want to hide in the app. From their post, they hide the like counts or hide like counts on posts from everyone else. Likes can usually appear if users want to.
Details about the experiment –
As the company update tests involving Like counts were deprioritized after the Covid-19 hit, the company focused on other efforts needed to support its community. Now Instagram is again reviewing the feedback from the users during the test in which the company found different opinions. The idea of hiding likes originally was to reduce embarrassment and anxiety. Many users have stress after posting content, whether it will receive likes or not. The problem was more with young users.
Instagram has not given any clear indication that hiding likes will be a permanent feature. However, the company’s executives have positively spoken about the effort to “de-pressurize” the app for particularly young users. As per recent updates, Instagram is planning to make a new version of the app for younger children under 13 years. The project is in its early stages. Some sources say that lawmakers have already told the company to remove the like feature because it makes it more addictive.
Facebook will also separately test this version of the experiment and likely bring a similar experience to the main platform. In Australia, hiding likes experiment is already done by social media but not rolled it out widely. According to the company spokesperson, “will learn from this new small test and have more to share soon.”