Instagram launched an experiment for Canadian users in April to try and find out whether hiding Like counts can benefit its users. While the Facebook-owned photo-sharing platform hasn't shared its results with the public yet, it's now expanding that experiment, perhaps to be able to gather more data for consideration. The platform is now hiding Likes and video views for select users in Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Japan and New Zealand, in addition to Canada.
We're currently running a test that hides the total number of likes and video views for some people in the following countries:— Instagram (@instagram) July 17, 2019
✅ New Zealand pic.twitter.com/2OdzpIUBka
As TechCrunch noted, selected users will see a banner notifying them about the test, which reads: "We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get." The platform echoed that sentiment in a tweet:
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.— Instagram (@instagram) July 17, 2019
Testers will still be able to see how many likes they get, but their friends will only get a vague idea. In the sample image Instagram shared, the line below the post reads "Liked by [user] and others." With more test regions and accounts participating in the experiment, Instagram may have enough data to show in the future. Maybe then we can find out if hiding Likes has a good effect on users' behavior and whether it can help people stop comparing themselves to each other.