Instagram begins hiding 'like' counts

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Instagram is to begin testing hiding of the number of likes and views that photos and videos receive, in a move designed to stop the fixation on the like count and "minimise the stress of posting online".

According to Petapixel, over the next few days, Canadian users will no longer be able to see the number of likes on posts by people they follow.

Instagram’s head, Adam Mosseri, said the change is designed to minimise the stress of posting online, where users can fixate on how many likes their images get.

“We want people to worry a little bit less about how many likes they’re getting on Instagram and spend a bit more time connecting with the people that they care about,” he said while speaking at Facebook’s annual developer conference, F8.

From this week, Canadian user's feeds will display posts as per normal, but people scrolling through the feed won’t see like counts. According to The Washington Post, account owners will still be able to check the tallies on their own photos and videos by clicking through a prompt.

If the test is deemed a success, the feature is expected to be rolled out globally.

Mosseri said the experiment is part of a rethink of the fundamentals of how Instagram works, and said the company also is testing a redesigned profile page that places less emphasis on follower counts.

“We don’t want Instagram to feel like a competition, we want to make it a less pressurised environment,” he said.

Instagram isn't the only social media platform looking to rethink how it manages likes and followers. Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey said last week that if he was to start Twitter again from scratch, he would rethink its emphasis on likes and retweets as 'markers of success.'

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