Instagram has started hiding likes and the number of times videos has been viewed as part of a trial aimed at removing ‘the pressure’ on its users.
The move is also hoped to shift the focus to users ‘sharing the things’ they enjoy rather than just garnering likes and stop the platform from feeling ‘like a competition’.
The trial, which applies to Instagram’s Feed, Permalink and Profile functions, affects some users in countries including Ireland, Italy and Australia.
“We want Instagram to be a place where people feel comfortable expressing themselves,” said Facebook Australia and New Zealand’s director of policy Mia Garlick.
“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.”
As part of the trial, Instagram users can see a user name “and others” below posts, rather than the number of likes.
It started in Canada in May and has also been rolled out to Brazil, Japan and New Zealand.
It does allow users to see how many likes they have received on their own posts.
Measurement tools for businesses will not be affected by the trial, Instagram’s spokeswoman said.
In January, a simple picture of an egg became the most-liked picture on Instagram.
The image, posted from the account @world_record_egg, aimed to beat the record set by Kylie Jenner with 18 million likes and succeeded - currently standing at more than 53 million.
The latest move comes after Instagram last week unveiled an anti-bullying initiative following high-profile cases such as the death of British teenager Molly Russell.
The new feature notifies people before they post that their comment may be considered offensive.