Instagram, which has been running a test to hide like counts on posts in seven different countries, announced today that it is expanding the test globally. This follows an announcement last week that the test would be expanding to the US as soon as this week.
If your account is included in the test, you won’t be able to see like counts on other peoples’ posts, but you will be able to see them on your own, according to a tweet from Instagram. This is how the tests have worked in other countries. The tweet included a notice that test participants will see in the app:
Starting today, we’re expanding our test of private like counts globally. If you’re in the test, you’ll no longer see the total number of likes and views on photos and videos posted to Feed unless they’re your own. pic.twitter.com/DztSH0xiq2
Though this seems like a good move to de-incentivize Instagram users from making posts designed only to garner likes, the like counts are important for some users as a way to prove the value of their posts to advertisers or potential partners. Instagram acknowledged this in another tweet by saying that it is “actively” considering other ways creators can “communicate value to their partners.”
In addition, we understand that like counts are important for many creators, and we are actively thinking through ways for creators to communicate value to their partners.
Instagram’s parent company Facebook is also running a test of hiding like counts in Australia.