Instagram users will now be given an option to hide the number of likes they receive on their posts.
The social media giant is offering this option to “depressurize people’s experience” on the platform.
The users who would enable this feature will see the username of the person who has liked the post, “and other”, but not a number.
This feature was first tested in various other countries since 2019, but it is now being officially put to use globally.
Instagram researches show that removing likes had little impact on people’s wellbeing and behaviour. Hence, the company experienced rising concerns that could be linked to insecurity and poor mental health.
A recent study found that there was “little association” between social media use and mental health in teenagers.
Therefore, Instagram’s boss Adam Mosseri said the new feature would ensure that “people feel good about the time they spend” on the platform.
“I do think there’s more to do in this space,” he added. “The more we can give people the ability to shape Instagram and Facebook into what’s good for them, the better.”
How to activate this feature
The user can turn on or off this feature anytime. Steps to change are:
- Go to settings
- Enter the new Post section
- Select Hide Likes and View Counts
Even if a user has Like Counts enabled, they will not be able to see the number of likes on the posts that have hidden them.
They will also have the option hide counts on a specific post, before and after it goes live on the platform.
“The spirit of this is to give people a choice,” Mr Mosseri added.
“Maybe you want to be a little bit less worried about how many likes everyone’s getting for a couple weeks or a couple of months, and then maybe you want to switch back.”
“If it’s a one-way door, people tend to get hesitant about using the control.”
Although Instagram will consider the number of likes while promoting the user’s posts. But it would also take into consideration other factors like what other Instagram handles are followed by the user.
Mr Mosseri further said that this feature will not affect revenues that the company creates through brand partnerships and advertising.
Instagram for Kids
At the beginning of the year, there were many concerns regarding the leaked plans to design a version of Instagram for children.
There is no “full-fledged” plan considering Instagram for under-13s users, Mr Mosseri said, while explaining the difficulties faced to verify ages, as kids often didn’t have IDs.
“It has to be more responsible to give parents oversight and transparency than to have kids continue to lie about their age.”
AHe said the app would “take some time” to create.