Instagram has started hiding likes as part of a trial aimed at removing ‘the pressure’ and shifting the focus to ‘sharing the things’ its users enjoy.
The Facebook-owned photo-sharing app said the trial in countries including Ireland, Italy and Australia was aimed at stopping the platform from feeling ‘like a competition’.
The change applies to the Instagram’s Feed, Permalink and Profile functions.
Studies suggest this instant feedback on content can boost people’s self-esteem but bring others down if they do not get as many likes.
Mia Garlick, Facebook Australia and New Zealand’s director of policy, said: ‘We want your friends to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get.
‘We hope this test will remove the pressure of how many likes a post will receive, so you can focus on sharing the things you love.’
The trial started in Canada in May and has also been rolled out to Brazil, Japan and New Zealand.
Account owners will still be able to view exact like counts in a separate page that only they can see.
At this stage, it’s unclear whether it will become a permanent change.
Instagram also hasn’t not said if or when the new feature will be available to users in Malta or the UK.