Instagram has started a test to see if the social medium can continue without public likes. In Australia, users no longer see likes with other people’s photos. Your own likes remain visible. Instagram does this to limit the social pressure associated with the medium.
Many people are afraid of being labeled as unpopular when they attract few likes, as can be read on Daily Mail. Testing is not only taking place in Australia. Canada, Japan, Ireland, Italy, Brazi, and New Zealand are now also ‘public like-loos’. Africa countries did not yet have the most radical change in the history of Instagram.
“We want Instagram to be a place where users can express themselves,” an Instagram spokesperson told Daily Mail. “We hope that this test removes social pressure and that people can focus on what they really love.”
The test is still really a test. Instagram reports that it looks at the feedback and that a decision is not made until afterward. Influencers and self-proclaimed Instagram celebrities don’t need to be afraid of the change: the test does not affect advertising revenue.
Earlier this year, it was already announced that Instagram is focusing on restricting the ‘like culture’ of the social medium. In this way, a ‘hide likes function’ was discovered. The possibility to hide the like-counter in Instagram was discovered by Twitter user Jane Manchun Wong, who passed on her invention to tech website TechCrunch.
She noticed the function in the code of the Android app and managed to take a number of screenshots. It shows that the like-counter is missing in a message, but that some profile photos and names of followers who like the post are still shown. Only the person who posted the message was shown the total number of likes.