Instagram trials hiding ‘likes’ to stop platform feeling ‘like a competition’

Instagram trials hiding ‘likes’ to stop platform feeling ‘like a competition’

Instagram has begun hiding likes and video views as part of a trial aimed at removing “the pressure” and shifting the focus to “sharing the things” its users enjoy.

A spokeswoman said the trial for some users in countries including Ireland, Italy and Australia was aimed at stopping the platform from feeling “like a competition”.

The change applies to the Instagram’s Feed, Permalink and Profile functions.

“We want Instagram to be a place where people feel comfortable expressing themselves,” said Mia Garlick, Facebook Australia and New Zealand’s director of policy.

“We hope this test will remove the pressure of how many likes a post will receive, so you can focus on sharing the things you love.”

The trial began in Canada in May and has also been rolled out to Brazil, Japan and New Zealand.

It shows those on the social media platform a user name “and others” below posts, rather than the number of likes on their feed.

It does allow users to see how many likes they have received on their own posts.

Measurement tools for businesses will not be affected by the trial, Instagram’s spokeswoman said.

Last week the company unveiled an anti-bullying initiative following high-profile cases such as the death of British teenager Molly Russell.

The social media site has started rolling out a new feature which notifies people before they post that their comment may be considered offensive.

- Press Association

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