When it comes to Instagram, likes are the main currency in measuring how successful a post is.
This metric is far from a perfect system, however — numerous studies have shown that it can have a negative effect on mental health, inducing feelings such as depression, anxiety and FOMO among users when that number isn’t as high as they’d like it to be.
In an attempt to curb this social pressure, Instagram is testing a new system that will hide the number of likes on posts. Users will still be able to see how many likes their own posts are getting, but that number will be hidden from the public.
We’re currently running a test that hides the total number of likes and video views for some people in the following countries:— Instagram (@instagram) July 17, 2019
✅ New Zealand pic.twitter.com/2OdzpIUBka
“We hope this test will remove the pressure of how many likes a post will receive, so you can share the things you love,” Facebook Australia and New Zealand Director of Policy Mia Garlick said in a statement.
The move was announced in a tweet earlier this week, with Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Japan and New Zealand being the initial test beds. Here’s a preview of how a like-less post will look like:
The new feature was actually first introduced in Canada back in May, and the expansion to five more countries suggests that Instagram is keen on implementing it.
Considering that likes have been an integral part of Instagram for…well, the entirety of its existence, the new feature will no doubt take some getting used to. Not everyone will be on board with it (*coughinfluencerscough*), but the pros outweigh the cons in the long run, we’d say.
Header Image Credit: Vulcan Post