The Likes feature that Instagram has relied heavily on throughout the years to engage users is slated to be hidden. According to TechCrunch, the social media platform has its eye set on trying this out solely in Canada. The test would mean that a post creator can still view the Likes, but their followers cannot.
TechCrunch also reports that Instagram has also recently revamped the profile to "make follower count less prominent," according to Adam Mosseri, the app’s Head of Product. The report breaks down that Like totals would still effect how the algorithm ranks a post in the feed. If launched, the change would shift Instagram into a platform that depends solely upon "self-expression." This could provide the extra push for users to not measure themselves in comparison to friends and influencers.
In an official statement, an Instagram spokesperson shared more about the upcoming plan:
"Later this week, we’re running a test in Canada that removes the total number of likes on photos and video views in Feed, Permalink pages and Profile. We are testing this because we want your followers to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get."
A small percentage of Canadian users will become aware of the change via a notice at the top of their feed. It will read: "a change to how you see Likes." This announcement was rolled out along with a few different product debuts at the Facebook F8 conference.
Stay tuned here as more news emerges.