Instagram is running tests in which it hides the number of ‘likes’ on users’ posts.
The test, uncovered by tech blogger Jane Manchum Wong, removes the like counter from individual users’ own posts when they appear in feeds.
The user who made the post appears to still be able to view the number of likes their post has received by making an additional click, but the counter is hidden from other users.
The test is accompanied by a message from Instagram explaining that it is part of an attempt to refocus users’ behaviour on the platform.
The message reads: “We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get. During this test, only the person who shared a post will see the total number of likes it gets.”
Billions of users
Instagram claims to boast over 1 billion monthly active users, more than 500 million of whom use the platform every day.
Separate research from communications agency We Are Flint suggests that around 41 per cent of all UK adults over the age of 18 were active Instagram users in 2018, the most recent period for which figures are available.