Instagram may soon be giving you the option of whether or not you can hide posts like counts or not.
After working on the option over the past few months, Instagram chief Adam Mosseri has now officially confirmed the launch of a new test that will enable IG users to choose whether they display post Like counts or not within the app.
As outlined by Moserri.
“Last year we started hiding like counts for a small group of people to see if it lessens some pressure when posting to Instagram. Some found this helpful and some still wanted to see like counts, in particular, to track what’s popular. So we’re testing a new option that lets you decide the experience that’s best for you – whether that’s choosing not to see like counts on anyone else’s posts, turning them off for your own posts, or keeping the original experience.”
The feature was there from two years ago.
Instagram actually began hiding post like counts two years ago, in a series of tests across various regions. Instagram hasn’t published the results of those experiments, but Mosseri recently explained that the project had been de-prioritized due to COVID-19, and has only recently been re-awakened once again.
As noted, Instagram has been working on these new options for some time. Back in January, app researcher, Alessandro shared screenshots of his finding of a new option within Instagram’s back-end code that would enable users to hide like counts on their posts, if they so wanted.
It seems that this is exactly what Instagram is now going with new, with Mosseri confirming the three alternatives that will be made available:
- Hiding Like counts on other people’s posts
- Switching off Like counts on your own posts
- Keeping full Like counts in the app
Mosseri hasn’t confirmed the scope of the test, nor which regions will get access, but has said that they’ll provide more info soon.
The same option may also be on Facebook.
Facebook was, at one stage, also part of the initial hidden like counts test which saw some users get an Instagram-like listing that removed numerics from post display.
It seems that Facebook users will also soon regain that capacity, which could help to reduce pressure over vanity metrics or remove your capacity to see how popular a post is, depending on your perspective.
But will it work? Will it help to provide relief from online performance pressures that can drive the wrong incentives for social media engagement?
It is, of course, difficult to say. For many, likes are a form of social currency, and there’s definitely a level of pressure to meet a certain standard among peers. A key example, and concern, on this front, would be the rise of Instagram models, whose heavily edited selfie images can present a skewed, and unhealthy view of what people should look like, and what beauty should be.