Instagram to test hiding 'likes' from U.S. users
In May, Instagram tested hiding likes from users in Canada and now the social media giant is planning to do the same with its U.S. users.
According to CNN, Instagram’s decision to test hiding ‘likes’ stems from an attempt to stamp down on competitive pressure among users. The company has already run the experiment with users in Ireland, Italy, Japan, Brazil, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.
The company’s CEO, Adam Mosseri, announced that this week the United States joins that list.
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. Looking forward to the feedback!— Adam Mosseri (@mosseri) November 9, 2019
Users will no longer see how many hearts a post receives as this feature will disappear from Instagram’s feed and user profile pages. Though an individual user will still be able to see how many likes they’ve received, their followers won’t. This will make it more difficult to compare the ‘success’ of one person’s post with another.
Mosseri explained that the move is designed to improve its younger user’s social media experience, saying, “The idea is to depressurize Instagram, make it less of a competition."
Instagram’s decision comes in the wake of social criticism aimed at the social media arena in general. As accounts of bullying abound and personal users express dissatisfaction related to online competition, various platforms have come under fire for not taking a more pro-active approach to these concerns.
Instagram hopes to stand out as different. By editing the visibility of its ‘likes’ feature, the company hopes users will experience fewer problems related to ‘screen addiction’ and online competition.
That said, Mosseri reiterated the change is only a test and the company has yet to make a final decision on the future of its ‘like’ feature.
The CEO said, "We have to see how it affects how people feel about the platform."
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