In recent weeks, Instagram users in several countries including Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Japan, and New Zealand became baffled after the disappearance of the public like counts on pictures and videos.
No, the disappearance of like visibility was not a technical outage but a new Instagram project try-out.
We’re currently running a test that hides the total number of likes and video views for some people in the following countries:
✅ New Zealand pic.twitter.com/2OdzpIUBka
— Instagram (@instagram) July 17, 2019
Instagram has begun testing a new feature of disabling like count visibility to its users. The first country that has already undergone the testing was Canada back in May. Now, Instagram has spread the feature to six additional countries and those might not be the last ones to get the new update implemented.
As the head of the app, Mark Zuckerberg explained at F8 Facebook Developer Conference, the like count is no longer publicly visible on the platform’s main feed.
“As you scroll through your feed, there are no like counts. You can see who liked a photo or video, you can tap through to see [the list], and if you have the time you can add them all up yourself.”
However, individual users are still able to see the like count on their pictures or videos and likewise, they remain able to track who liked their posts. The testing of the new feature came in as a startling surprise to Instagram-based influencers and brands who use the platform to promote their products and enclose deals. Since there is no opt-out possibility, all users are equally affected, independent of the number of followers or likes they have.
I think removing the ability to see likes removes the pressure to only post what performs best. You can post what you want without feeling like people can see the drop in engagement and judge you for it.
— Paige Williams (@paigebackstage) May 3, 2019
At present, it is probably just a matter of time until the Instagram officials release an update about the new feature. We will stay on a high alert for you and will update you about any new developments.