Instagram is doing an international test on a feature that allows users to hide the amount of “likes” they get on a post.
The test, announced Wednesday, began in Canada and is now expanding to Ireland, Japan, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand.
We’re currently running a test that hides the total number of likes and video views for some people in the following countries:
New Zealand pic.twitter.com/2OdzpIUBka
— Instagram (@instagram) July 17, 2019
“We want your friends to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get. You can still see your own likes by tapping on the list of people who’ve liked it, but your friends will not be able to see how many likes your post has received,” the Facebook-owned company said in a statement.
The users testing this feature will be able to see how many “likes” they get, but their followers will not be able to tell. The data collected from expanding the test will be able to show if this feature changes user behavior.
“There’s still a lot we want to learn when it comes to how this test impacts your Instagram experience. We’re looking forward to the findings from these six new countries around the globe,” a Facebook representative said.
The move is supposed to be part of Instagram’s broader plan to combat cyberbullying. Earlier this month, Instagram added two new anti-bullying features in an attempt to limit the amount of hurtful comments made on their platform. (RELATED: Instagram Adds Features To Combat Cyberbullying As Studies Link Social Media To Youth Depression, Suicide)
However, most of the reactions to Instagram’s announcement were negative.
Please add this in the US
— Nathan Zed (@NathanZed) July 18, 2019
No one asked for this. No one wants this except insecure snowflakes. Thanks.
— CJ Pearson (@thecjpearson) July 18, 2019
You guys should leave this decision to the people who uses the platform on a daily basis instead of controlling everything.
— Aaron Lee (@AskAaronLee) July 18, 2019
literally all we wanted was chronological order
— KALEB MITCHELL (@KALEBMITCHELL) July 17, 2019
It is unknown if this feature will be tested in the U.S. or ultimately implemented in full.