Imagine a world where likes and views on Instagram didn't exist. Your skin is clear, your crops are thriving, your credit score just skyrocketed, and instead of posting a photo and anxiously waiting to see who double taps, there are no numbers at all. This just became a reality for Instagram users in select countries around the world.
On Thursday, Instagram announced it will be hiding all likes and views on posts in seven countries including Australia, Brazil, and Canada.
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
The move comes after a preliminary testing in Canada last May. Instagram told TIME at the time that they were "expanding the test to a number of countries to get a better sense of how the experience resonates with Instagram’s global community."
With this expansion, Instagram explained that they want to shift user focus to content you post, not the likes you collect. Users will still be able to see their own likes, but fellow users will not be able to. "We want your friends to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get," Instagram said in a tweet. "You can still see your own likes by tapping on the list of people who've liked it, but your friends will not be able to see how many likes your post has received."
But we're not completely saying goodbye to likes just yet. The move is temporary—for now. "We’re looking forward to learning more about how this change might benefit everyone’s experience on Instagram."
Instagram did not reveal whether they would be bringing the test to the U.S. Regardless, this poses a big problem for influencers who profit off of large followings, views, and likes. Twitter had a lot to say about the move, with many wondering what it means for the future of influencers. Others praised Instagram for the decision, insisting that it will create a healthier online environment.
Bout to post w no thought or consequence like it’s 2013 go crazy go stupid ahhhhhh— troye (@troyesivan) July 18, 2019
THIS IS THE GREATEST THING INSTAGRAM EVER DONE.— Furkan (@Furkan20308489) July 18, 2019
You know some people sees other people getting so many likes and they feel upset because they dont get like that much #instagramDELETE pic.twitter.com/vsR0eqn8s7
About time they did this. We have so many problems in our lives and around the world that we already worry about and ‘the amount of likes i get’ shouldn’t be one of them. This really will make Instagram a really mentally positive space for people. #instagramDELETE pic.twitter.com/OF3RHLEFwE— rashmi (@flexgguk) July 18, 2019
I think most of us are pretty good at not judging our worth by the number of likes on an instagram photo. Where folk struggle is with feeling that *others* are judging them based on like count, and that’s what hiding the like count can change.— Sara Tasker (@meandorla) July 18, 2019
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