Instagram on Thursday announced that it is expanding its Private Like Counts test globally. It means a small set of users in India will not see like counts on posts. In the test, you can still see your likes by tapping on the like list, but others will not be able to see how many likes your post has received. Likewise, you will not be able to see how many likes others’ posts have received. This is part of a broader effort by the photo-sharing platform to improve well being of its users.
Vishal Shah, Vice President of Product, Instagram, said that if you’re in the test, you’ll no longer see the total number of likes and views on photos and videos posted to Feed unless they’re your own. “While the feedback from early testing has been positive, this is a fundamental change to Instagram, so we’re continuing our test to learn more from our global community,” Shah said in a statement.
The test began in Canada in May 2019 and expanded to Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Brazil, Ireland and Italy in July this year. The Facebook-owned platform recently expanded the test to include the United States as well. Now, it is taking it global to include India as well. The roll-out of this test comes close on the heels of the recent ‘Instagram Experience’ organised in Mumbai. At the event, Instagram announced an ‘Unlabel’ content series in partnership with Yuvaa. The series features young Indians challenging stereotypes to be their authentic selves.
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“We don’t want people to feel like it’s a contest. Instagram should be about expression,” Shah said at the event. Like counts have been part of Instagram from the beginning but the company is willing to experiment. Instagram is also looking for new ways to tackle bullies on the platform. It announced ‘Restrict’ as a new feature to protect users from unwanted interactions.
(Written with IANS inputs)