On April 18th code hunter Jane Wong spotted an unreleased feature that Instagram had considered hiding the like count on photos, which would mean users could no longer see how many people have liked an individual post.
Wong, who says the test states that Instagram wants “your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get.” The feature would still allow the user who posted the photo to see the number of likes it received.
From a business perspective, you would still be able to determine which posts are engaging most successfully with audiences, as the likes counter would still be visible to you. The feature could encourage more businesses to create content that is focused on brand message instead of creating content purely for likes; where the strategy and messaging is not always the focus.
Instagram has stated “We’re not testing this at the moment, but exploring ways to reduce pressure on Instagram is something we’re always thinking about.”
The response online has been very mixed with some people favoring the possible feature update; as it would be beneficial for younger audiences where there is pressure to have followers and likes. It would be fascinating to view the results of the test if Instagram chose to move forward with it and to determine if removing the likes count would drastically change engagement or effect the type of content people share.