Instagram hides likes count ‘to remove pressure’


Instagram is hiding the amount of likes on posts in a number of nations, including Australia and Japan to “remove user stress”.

The trial which commenced on Thursday, will allow users to see username “and others” below posts, instead of the number, on their feed.

There is concern that social media platforms contribute to low self-esteem and feelings of inadequacy from youths.

Instagram had earlier launched a similar trial in Canada in May and the new test is rolling out in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Italy, Japan and Brazil.

According to Mia Garlick, Facebook Australia and New Zealand director of policy the goal at that time was to make users feel less judged and to see “whether this change can help people focus less on likes and more on telling their story”. Instagram stated that the test would have no impact on company assessment instruments.

And by clicking on it, users can still see the list of individuals who liked other individuals content.

When the test was first run in Canada, Instagram chief Adam Mosseri said the aim was to minimise the stress of posting online with users competing over the number of likes their posts receive.

“We want people to worry a little bit less about how many likes they’re getting on Instagram and spend a bit more time connecting with the people that they care about,” he explained at the time.

Studies suggest this kind of instant feedback on content can boost people’s self-esteem but bring others down if they do not get as many likes.

Studies have linked social media platforms to affecting mental health, especially of young people.

Earlier this month, Instagram also revealed a new feature to tackle online bullying.

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