start Instagram today is testing a new test on hiding likes from user posts, after its experiments in this area that first started in 2019.
This time Instagram doesn’t enable or disable the feature for more users, instead, it begins to explore a new option where users can select what works for them – either choose to see likes via others’ posts or hide likes.
Users will also be able to turn off likes via their own posts, if they choose to do so.
Facebook has also confirmed that it is starting to test a similar experience through its own social network.
Instagram says liked tests have been downgraded after the coronavirus emerged, as the company focused on other efforts needed to support its community.
The platform is now reviewing the feedback it collected from users during the tests and found a wide range of opinions.
The idea of hiding likes was originally about reducing the anxiety and embarrassment surrounding posting content on the social network.
This means that people may be disappointed if their posts do not get enough likes to be considered popular.
This issue has been especially difficult for younger users, who care so much about what their peers think, that they delete posts that weren’t getting enough likes.
In addition, masking likes helped reduce the herd mentality that leads people to like popular things, rather than judging the content themselves.
But not everyone agreed that removing likes was a change for the better during the tests, and for this reason, the latest Instagram test gives users the option.
The company says: This new test is enabled for a small percentage of users globally via Instagram.
And if you are a subscriber, you find a new option to hide likes from within the app settings, this prevents you from seeing the likes on other people’s posts while scrolling through the Instagram feed.
And if you are a content creator, you can hide likes on a per-post basis, and even if likes are publicly disabled, creators are still able to view the number of likes and other interactions through analytics.
Instagram did not say how long the new tests would take or whether and when features might roll out more widely.
A Facebook spokesperson said: We’re testing this on Instagram at first, but we’re also exploring a similar experience to Facebook, we’re learning from this new little test and we’ll have more to share soon.