Users on Instagram soon would not have to care about the number of likes on their posts.
The photo-sharing app is testing a feature that would let users hide how many people have liked a post, according to a tweet by Jane Manchun Wong.
Instagram is testing hiding like count from audiences,
as stated in the app: "We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get" pic.twitter.com/MN7woHowVN
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) April 18, 2019
“We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get,” reads an Instagram app screenshot Wong shared. “During this test, only the person who shared a post will see the total number of likes it gets.”
Users would still be able to see a number of photos and names of people who liked a post on their feed, however, there would not be a number representing how many people have actually liked the post, as per the screenshots. The number of likes would only be visible to the person who has shared the post.
Instagram did not immediately delve into the details about this new feature, but a representative told TechCrunch that the design is a prototype that is not being tested currently.
The new feature could have a positive effect on users, especially for some who suffer from mental health problems aggravated by social media platforms. The pressure of acquiring a certain number of likes or appearing popular can take a toll on some people. According to a 2017 UK study, Instagram was the most harmful social media platform to young people’s mental health.
The new feature could help reduce the herd mentality, where people just like what has already got a ton of likes. it could also reduce a sense of competition that persists on Instagram, where people compare the number of likes they have gotten on their post with those of more popular friends or superstar creators. It could also encourage creators to post more authentic content rather than posting stuff in order to get likes.