Following on from their initial trials in 7 other countries, Facebook-owned Instagram has now expanded the trial to the US, hiding “like” counts on posts for a selection of users, in order to test the feature.
At a recent Wired event, the CEO of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, announced that the company was willing to make decisions that might hurt their business, if they would help the health and mental well-being of people using the platform.
As previously reported the company has been testing this in several other countries, and we can only assume that a positive reaction has led to the expansion of this test to the US, arguably their most important market.
A Change In Metrics
However, likes aren’t completely gone…you will still be able to see how many people liked your photo’s or videos, you just won’t be able to see how many people liked those of other users.
Earlier this year, Mosseri said in an interview that the objective for removing likes was to create a less pressurised environment for users, where they would feel more comfortable expressing themselves.
Instagram is only the furthest along of the companies experimenting with, or discussing, the removal of popularity metrics that these companies themselves made so popular.
These moves follow growing concerns in both social and professional circles about the effects of social media on users, particularly younger users, where popularity and perceived popularity can have profound impacts on behaviour and mental health.