Popular social media platform, Instagram is hiding the number of likes on posts in several countries, including Australia and Japan in order to remove pressure on users.
At the moment, Instagram users see a running total of people who have liked a post but in the trial, users see a user name and others below posts. Instagrammers can also view the number of likes their own posts receive.
Amid concerns that 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.
Instagram boss, Adam Mosseri said the test would not affect measurement tools for businesses and that users could still see the list of people who liked other people’s content by clicking into it.
Mosseri said when the test was first run in Canada, the aim was to minimize the stress of posting online with users competing over the number of likes their posts receive. The number of likes a post gets is seen as a measure of success or popularity on Instagram.
In addition, influencers who get paid for the content they showcase in their posts are measured by the number of likes their social media activity draws.
“We want people to worry a little bit less about how many likes they’re getting on Instagram and spend a bit more time connecting with the people that they care about,” Mosseri explained at the time.
Studies have suggested that this kind of instant feedback on content can boost people’s self-esteem but bring others down if they do not get as many likes.
The studies have also linked social media platforms to mental health problems, especially of young people.
Earlier this month, Instagram also revealed a new feature aimed at tackling online bullying.