Thursday, 19 September, 2019

'Likes' to be hidden on Instagram in Australia as part of trial

Instagram to hide number of'l Instagram to hide number of'likes for Irish users
Lora Ball | 18 July, 2019, 16:52

Irish Instagram users will no longer be able to see how many likes other people get.

It does allow users to see how many likes they have received on their own posts. "Likewise, an Instagram user will not be able to see how many likes others' posts have received".

If you haven't seen the change yet, it's probably because Instagram was also down this morning.

Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Italy, and Japan are joining Australia and New Zealand in the not-so-voluntary trial, as Instagram attempts to refocus its branding towards content rather than likes or other social metrics.

"We want to make sure that people are not feeling like they should like a particular post because it's getting a lot of likes, and that they shouldn't feel like they sharing exclusively to get likes", Mia says.

The test changes one of the fundamental points of social media.

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Studies have linked social media platforms to affecting mental health, especially of young people. So, in April this year, Instagram announced that they are testing a new feature that hides the like count on public photo posts on Instagram.

"We want Instagram to be a place where people feel comfortable expressing themselves", Mia Garlick, Facebook's director of policy in Australia and New Zealand, says.

Mia Garlick says hiding likes, and last week's announcement of further anti-bullying features on the platform are all created to improve the wellbeing of users.

In addition to hiding like counts, the platform is also exploring features to reduce bullying on Instagram, such as a new "nudge" feature that will warn users if they're about to comment something hurtful, and an "away mode" that will enable users to take a break from the platform without deleting their account.

Instagram said the measures to hide likes would not affect measurement tools used by businesses that use the platform to promote their products.

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