Instagram spreads its ‘like hiding’ test to the US

In a bid to create a healthier social environment, Instagram will start hiding like counts in the United States from next week. The social media network introduced the program in some countries already but it is now ready to test it further.
Instagram Heart
Instagram’s heart icon to mark a like may soon have less power in the public eye. Photo: Instagram’s Facebook

So far, so good

Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Ireland, Italy, and Brazil, are the countries that Instagram has already experimented with regarding the like-hiding policy. However, Wired reports that the firm’s head Adam Mosseri will soon be adding the US to the list.

“So right now we are testing on making like counts private. So you will be able to see how many people liked a photo of yours, a video of yours but no one else will,” Mosseri said.

“We are announcing that we are going to start testing in the US next week. Not the whole US at once. Definitely, a couple of you are going to have private likes.”

“It’s about young people, the idea is to try and depressurize Instagram, make it less of a competition, and give people more space to focus on connecting with people that they love, things that inspire them.”

Adam Mosseri
Adam Mosseri was previously a product designer at Facebook before moving up the ranks of the company. Photo: TechCrunch via Flickr

Could be a game-changer

The Facebook-owned brand is doing a test first so they can see how in impacts how people feel and use the platform. This move could be a huge change for influences and content creators who may rely on public likes as a measure of their success. Many social media personalities use their like metrics as a way to draw sponsorship, endorsement and marketability.

However, since users will still get to see their data privately, they could use this as evidence for potential partnerships. Ultimately, if the goal is to reduce the amount of superficial pressures on young people, this is a welcome move. By focusing on the quality over quality, it could lead to a new generation of creative content.

Mark Zuckerberg Facebook
Mark Zuckerberg has been introducing a series of security and welfare measures across his products this year. Photo: Anthony Quintano via Flickr

Further initiatives

Additionally, Instagram has been revising its policy across the board when it comes to the mental health of its users. TechCrunch previously reportedthat thefirm has been introducing a series of features to help create a warmer atmosphere. The nudge tool warns posters if they are about to comment something hateful. This is a preventative measure, rather than a reactive one.

Along with this, users can now manage the interactions that they have with others on Instagram. Rather than blocking a user completely, they can tailor what sort of interaction they want to have with another person. For example, some people might not mind certain others seeing photos but do not want to receive direct messages. Therefore, they can customize their settings to suit that.

Furthermore, the Away Mode spurs users to take some time away from the platform during stressful periods. Situations such as moving house or studying for school exams can be tough and this feature helps people focus on what’s important.

Another introduction by Instagram is a separate app called Threads. This service allows users to focus on communication with close friends rather than an extended network. This introduction, along with Instagram’s other initiatives will hopefully help users maintain a healthy online experience.

What do you think of Instagram’s test of like hiding? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.

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