Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri has made a major announcement today at the WIRED25 conference that like counts in Instagram posts will be removed at certain regions in the United States as part of a long-term test program.
In the interview, he specifically mentioned the detail in response to a question that is related to the ever-changing engagement metrics on social media platforms. Adam Mosseri specifically stated:
“It’s about young people, the idea is to depressurize Instagram. Make it less of a competition. Give people more space to focus on connecting with people that they love. Things that inspire them. But it’s really focused [about] young people.“
The idea seems to be that since social media has been this ever-escalating platform of comparison, the young people, who presumably are most affected, become seemingly swept by social media engagement competitions in the form of like counts. At least, that is the idea from a detached perspective.
Of course, those who own the accounts that make the updates and posts will still be able to see the like counts as normal. Only like counts of other Instagram users will be hidden from the original account owner.
Instagram has actually already been implementing tests on hiding like counts for quite a while. As revealed in the same interview, tests have already been conducted in countries like Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, as well as Canada, where it was first conducted.
The roll-out of the new feature is expected to come as early as next week. However, it is uncertain as to which regions of the United States will this be implemented. It is also unknown if the specific states or regions will be announced as they are rolled out within the next few days.
So, if you’re in the U.S., and you suddenly see the like counts of your favorite artist or person disappear, don’t fret. Its a feature, not a bug.