Instagram’s hidden likes test rolls out worldwide

After testing it out in seven countries in July and in the US earlier this week, Instagram’s now hiding like counts globally. It’s still testing the feature and how people will react, but the company notes that the feedback has been positive so far. So, maybe this will ultimately end up being more than a test.

“Starting today, we’re expanding our test of private like counts globally,” Instagram’s tweet states. “If you’re in the test, you’ll no longer see the total number of likes and views on photos and videos posted to Feed unless they’re your own.”

I’m happy to tell you that I’m a part of the test. It’s not that I care about how many likes others have – but I can share a couple of screenshots and show you what it looks like. First of all, I can’t see the like counts on other people’s posts, neither while I scroll the feed nor when I open them individually. When I click on “others,” there’s a list of people who liked the post, but not the number. You can count the people on the list though, but I don’t think anyone’s crazy enough to do that.

I can’t see the total number of likes on my post either while I just scroll down my feed. When I open an individual post, I still can’t see the total number of likes until I click on “others.” Only then can I see who liked my photo, and the total number of likes.

Instagram writes that the feedback from early tests in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Japan, and New Zealand has been positive. Since hiding like counts is “a fundamental change to Instagram,” the company has decided to test it further and launch it globally.

Of course, hiding like counts is apparently making some influencers and Insta-celebrities get panic attacks. So, in another tweet, Instagram is reassuring them that hiding like counts won’t affect their success. From what I can conclude, there’s no exact solution yet, but Instagram is still thinking it through.

Comments on Twitter regarding the global test are mainly negative, from what I can see. People are saying goodbye to Instagram and predict that this is “the beginning of the end” for the app. Some offer constructive criticism instead of drama and suggest that Instagram lets us choose whether we want to hide like counts or not. Personally, I totally support hiding them, but I like having a choice – so I think it would be better if it were optional. But I guess it’s still early to predict anything, this could remain just a test and everything might get back to the way it was before.

It’s not just Instagram that’s hiding like counts. Its parent company Facebook started the same test recently, but for now it has been limited to Australia. In both cases, the reason behind hiding like counts is reportedly “reducing pressure on Instagram,” as the company’s spokesperson previously said. But as I mentioned, it’s just a test for now, and anything can happen, so let’s wait and see.

In the meanwhile, feel free to share your impressions if you’re a part of the test. And even if you’re not, I’d like to hear your opinion about this. Share your thoughts in the comments below.