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Instagram to Expand its Trial Hiding ‘Likes’ to Some US Users

Dominique Adams

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Instagram

Instagram said the trial is to help stop the platform ‘feeling like a competition’ by making it harder for users to compare their content’s success.  

Next week, the Facebook-owned social media platform will trial hiding ‘likes’ from some US users’ posts. Instagram has already trialled this update in several countries including Ireland, Italy and Australia.

According to Instagram, the purpose of the trial is to improve the user experience so that people are less pressured by the platform feeling like a popularity competition.

Once the update has been rolled out, only users will be able to see the number of likes their posts receive. When other users view their content they will only be able to see the name of one account that has liked it and in addition to “others”.

Business accounts will not be affected by the update, they will continue to be able to view engagements on their posts.

“The idea is to try and depressurise Instagram, make it less of a competition, and give people more space to focus on connecting with the people they love and things that inspire them,” said Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri.

“We have to see how it affects how people feel about the platform, how it affects how they use the platform, how it affects the creator ecosystem.”

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Mosseri Tweeted that he was looking to user feedback on the trial. Speaking at the Wired 25 conference in San Francisco, Mosseri estimated there were about several hundred people in the audience and said some of them would definitely see their likes hidden

Instagram has recently implemented a number of updates such as removing its ‘Following’ tab and adding its new ‘Restrict’ feature. It has also extended its ban on certain posts, such as pro-anorexia content, to include drawings of self-harm. It has also removed filters that promote cosmetic surgery and pledged to crack down on posts promoting miracle diets.

While many have welcomed the move, seeing it as a positive step towards making the platform a more healthy environment, smaller influencers are concerned it could make it harder for them to attract deals. Although the follower metric will remain, for those who have a small following but command a large number of likes this could impact them negatively.

“We have to see how it affects how people feel about the platform,” said Mosseri, “I’ve been spending a lot of time on this personally.”

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Dominique Adams

Staff Writer, DIGIT

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