Instagram is eradicating the “likes” count from posts in an effort to “remove pressure” on users.
As part of a trial, which begins on Thursday, the changes will mean Instagrammers will no longer see a number on their posts telling them how many likes each one has.
According to Instagram executives, the aim of the trial is to create a “less pressurised environment where people feel comfortable expressing themselves.”
The popular social media platform will be testing the changes in several countries, including Australia and Japan.
Here’s what the new changes could mean for you:
How will Instagram likes change?
The adjustments come following widespread concerns that the platform negatively impacts people’s self-esteem, particularly for younger users.
There have been multiple studies linking social media platforms to poor mental health, as it is generally believed that the number of likes a post gets is a measure of success or popularity on Instagram.
We’re currently running a test that hides the total number of likes and video views for some people in the following countries:
✅ New Zealand pic.twitter.com/2OdzpIUBka— Instagram (@instagram)July 17, 2019
Mia Garlick, Facebook Australia and New Zealand director of policy, said: “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.”
She added: “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.”
An Instagram spokesperson said the changes will not affect measurement tools for business, commenting: “for business and creators on Instagram, this test will not affect measurement tools like Insights or Ads Manager.”
Which countries are affected?
Instagram have said that the change will be compulsory for all account holders in Australia.
Similar changes have already been introduced in Canada in May and will be rolled out to New Zealand, Japan, Italy, Ireland and Brazil.
When the first test was run in Canada, Instagram chief Adam Mosseri said: “We want people to worry a little bit less about how many likes they’re getting on Instagram and spend a little more time connecting with the people they care about.”
Will the changes affect UK users?
The changes won’t immediately affect UK users, and Instagram haven’t commented on whether there are plans to test the trial in other countries.
This means UK Instagrammers will still be able to see the number of likes posts have received.