Instagram to test hiding the number of ‘likes’ on posts

Instagram may be about to make the biggest change ever to your experience with the app soon, in the hope that you’ll stop obsessing so much over how many likes your Coachella posts and #foodpix get.

During Facebook’s annual F8 software developer conference in San Jose, California, today, Instagram’s top executive Adam Mosseri explained that the photo-sharing service is going to start a test later this week that hides the number of likes on each post from other users. The goal, he explained, is to make Instagram feel less “like a competition.”

The testing is going to happen in Canada ahead of presumably a wider rollout, depending on how it’s received there. As part of the test, should you happen to be among the participants, users scrolling through your feed would see only your posts and no indication of many users “liked” them.

And while only you would still see who all clicked like on your posts, you wouldn’t see the actual number. You’d have to add up all the likes. Also, Instagram seems to be testing the possibility of hiding the number of likes from the post creator as well, and giving them the opportunity to see the likes only if they want to.

To say this is a major change for the service, which is wildly popular among young people as well as young adults, would be an understatement. It certainly seems to herald a shift in influencer culture, where the number of likes on a post is a currency that’s literally worth its weight in money, leading to brand deals and sponsorships for many of the Insta-famous set.

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