Instagram is set to test ‘hide like counts’ for some US users as early as next week. The Facebook-owned photo-messaging app has been testing option to hide like counts in select markets. Now, it is extending the same to a small set of users in the US as well. Adam Mosseri, CEO of Instagram, announced the plan at a Wired event in San Francisco on Friday. The social media network earlier said that the initiative aims to remove pressure on users who are concerned about the reach of their posts and impressions.
“We want people to worry a little bit less about how many likes they’re getting on Instagram,” Mosseri said during a conference in California, back in April. Mosseri added that people should spend more time connecting with the people that they care about. Instagram has been running tests where it hides like counts on posts in Canada, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Brazil, Australia, and New Zealand. Additionally, Facebook is also running a test of hiding like counts in Australia.
“We are running a limited test where like, reaction and video view counts are made private across Facebook,” a spokesperson for the social media platform said at the time. During a recent media event in Mumbai, Vishal Shah, VP of Product, had explained why hiding likes matter. It is being rolled out as part of well being initiative. “People feel a lot of pressure on posting to Instagram, competing with themselves, competing with their friends, competing with the biggest celebrities in the world,” Shah said.
“And we don’t want people to feel like it’s a contest. Instagram should be about expression,” Shah told media. Like counts have been part of the photo-sharing service but the company is not afraid of getting rid of it. The company is also looking at new ways to tackle online bullying. While it is getting rid of like counts, the service is also looking at ways to make shopping primary source of revenue.