Instagram announced at its F8 developer conference today that it’ll start testing a new feature later this week that’ll hide users’ public like counts on videos and photos. The test will only be in Canada, and likes will be hidden in the Feed, permalinked pages, and on profiles.
Instagram says it wants followers to “focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get.” Only the person who owns the account will be able to see how many likes their content received.
Although likes can be mood-boosting and encouraging to users, they can also bring them down, especially if content doesn’t perform well. At the same time, likes can incentivize less interesting content and facilitate like-garnering posts, like nudity, food porn, and classic Instagram-bait scenes. Getting rid of likes could fundamentally change the platform.