The social media application says it’s exploring ways to reduce pressure on users.
In an effort to focus more on content over popularity—and perhaps even curb criticisms over social media’s negative effects on well-being—Instagram has rolled out an internal design prototype that hides “like” counts, according to TechCrunch.
Tipster Jane Manchun Wong discovered the feature in Instagram’s Android code that, according to screenshots obtained by TechCrunch, looks to remove total like counts from the public-facing post, telling users: “We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get. During this test, only the person who shares a post will see the total number of likes it gets.”
TechCrunch notes that several other features it’s reported on in similar prototype phases were eventually implemented by the social media application. “We’re not testing this at the moment, but exploring ways to reduce pressure on Instagram is something we’re always thinking about,” an Instagram spokesperson told Techcrunch.
TechCrunch notes that while under-emphasizing publicly racking up high like counts could be beneficial for individual users’ well-being, the feed’s algorithm—what posts actually get seen by users—would likely still depend on the popularity of posts and therefore like counts. For brands whose social media presence can make or break business, this update could change modern digital marketing approaches to staying relevant and seen.
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