Social media as a whole is always morphing and changing, and that's also true of the services that power social media. Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, and more are often experimenting and tweaking their services for a variety of reasons, whether it's just to make the algorithm more precise or make a more fundamental change to the community itself. The latest change for Instagram is more towards the latter, as CEO Adam Mosseri recently revealed they are getting ready to hide like counts on the popular service, something they've been testing for a while now (via Variety).
Mosseri revealed the plan at a Wired event in San Francisco, saying that it is an attempt to strengthen conversations on Instagram and take away the popularity contest aspect of posts on the service. The idea is that if you can't see the likes a post has received, you'll only engage when you're truly motivated by the post itself, thus making the conversations around each post more organic, at least in theory.
Instagram started testing the change in Canada and has slowly added countries like Brazil, Australia, and Japan to the test. It seems to have gone well, so users in the United States can look forward to joining that rollout as early as next week.
Now, you will be able to still see how many likes a post has received on Instagram, but it will only be available to the person who created the post and not to all of their followers.
Facebook, who owns Instagram, is also planning on hiding like counts, starting with a test in Australia. That test would not just be like counts, but also Reaction and video view counts. Likes have always been central to Facebook though, so removing that might be a bit more tricky than on Instagram. Guess we'll just have to wait and see how it all plays out.
Are you a fan of Instagram removing the like count? Let us know in the comments!