Instagram began hiding ‘likes’ and video view counts in Canada a few months ago as part of an experiment to see if doing so would benefit its users. The Facebook-owned app has now expanded that its test to select users in Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Japan, and New Zealand.
Instagram, like all other social media platforms, has been under pressure to do more about the effects its platform has on people’s mental health. It’s hoped that removing the obsession with ‘internet fame’ and social media popularity will help to limit the negative effects that Instagram can have on some users’ wellbeing.
Under the test, people will still be able to see all photos and videos in their feeds as usual. However, only the person who posted content will be able to see their likes and view counts.
“We want your friends to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get,” said Instagram on Twitter. “You can still see your own likes by tapping on the list of people who've liked it, but your friends will not be able to see how many likes your post has received.”
Earlier this month, Twitter also looked to more closely address bullying and harassment on its platform with the introduction of a tool that uses artificial intelligence to detect bullying and other harmful content in comments, photos, and videos. When the tool detects this type of content is about to be posted, it will tell the user that their post may be considered offensive and ask if they still want to upload the post.
The photo and video-sharing app will also soon begin trialling a ‘Restrict’ mode, which will enable users to filter out comments from others.