Instagram is considering hiding likes in a bid to reduce social media pressure. If the idea is implemented, it would mean that posts would no longer show how many people have liked a specific post, only that it was liked by a few named handles "and others".
Users will still be able to monitor the number of likes their photo receives, but the outside world won't. The decision would have a big impact on influencers, who use the number of likes to demonstrate their popularity and resonance with their followers. If companies can't see publicly how much engagement a post receives, then it's likely to affect sponsorship deals and brand partnerships.
“We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get,” Instagram says in an in-app message explaining the change, reports Tech Crunch. “During this test, only the person who shared a post will see the total number of likes it gets.”
The move could also be a response to numerous reports that Instagram and its idealised version of perfection negatively impacts mental health. Receiving a small number of likes is, for some, an indicator of low popularity. A spokesperson for the social media platform said "exploring ways to reduce pressure on Instagram is something we’re always thinking about".
Watch this space (and not the number of likes), basically.