Following a number of small trials around the world, Instagram has begun testing hidden ‘Like’ counts on posts in the US this week.
Speaking at WIRED25, Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri explained that the trial would not cover the whole of the country. For a select few accounts, the number of Likes on other users’ posts will be removed from the newsfeed.
The trial will still allow people to see how many individuals have Liked their own posts.
In July, the company said of the potential update: “We want your friends to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get.”
Critics have argued that it may still be possible to compare the popularity of different influencers by looking at their follower count.
Previously, Instagram has tested the hidden Like counter in countries including Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Japan and Italy.
The tweak comes as the social media brand is looking to improve the health of conversation across its 100+ million active users.
Last month, Instagram took steps to reduce the amount of sexually explicit content on its platform by banning suggestive emojis.
An Instagram representative told Fox Business: “[Content] will only be removed from Facebook and Instagram if it contains a sexual emoji alongside an implicit or indirect ask for nude imagery, sex or sexual partners, or sex chat conversations.”
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