- Instagram is toying with the idea of removing the total number of likes from its posts, with Australian users to experience the changes from Thursday local time.
- Users will no longer be able to see the total numbers on other people’s posts, with the quantity of interactions replaced by the name of one user who has liked a post followed by the phrase "and others".
- The Australian experiment follows the world-first trial in Canada in May, with Instagram suggesting it might look to roll the feature out worldwide depending on how it’s received.
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In a bid to make users feel more comfortable sharing, Instagram has announced Australia will – at least for a short time – have the total number of user likes removed from its posts.
From Thursday, Australian users will see the following message in their news feeds notifying them of the move.
The trial comes just a few months after Canada became the first country to experiment with the feature.
The move is designed to offset some of the social pressure people feel on social media sites, the social media platform, which is owned by Facebook, said in a media statement.
"We want Instagram to be a place where people feel comfortable expressing themselves. We hope this test will remove the pressure of how many likes a post will receive, so you can focus on sharing the things you love," Facebook Australia and New Zealand director of policy Mia Garlick said.
"We are now rolling the test out to Australia so we can learn more about how this can benefit people’s experiences on Instagram, and whether this change can help people focus less on likes and more on telling their story."
While Instagram hopes the feature will make people focus on the content they create, rather than its reception, users will still be able to privately see how their own posts have done.
It will also not affect analytic tools ‘Insights’ and ‘Ad Manager’ used by businesses and creators on the platform.
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