At the moment, Instagram users see a running total of people who have liked a post. In the trial, users will see a user name “and others” below posts. Instagrammers can still view the number of likes their own posts receive. There is concern social media platforms can contribute to low self-esteem and feelings of inadequacy in young people.
Instagram launched a similar trial in Canada in May and the new test is rolling out in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Italy, Japan and Brazil, the company told the BBC. “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,” Mia Garlick, Facebook Australia and New Zealand director of policy, said in a statement. The goal, she adds, is that users feel less judged and to see “whether this change can help people focus less on likes and more on telling their story”.
Instagram said the test would not affect measurement tools for businesses. And users can still see the list of people who liked other people’s content by clicking into it.