What is the reason behind the option to change likes?
According to the photo-sharing site, which is owned by Facebook Inc, this latest experiment came after it witnessed mixed responses to its earlier trials in which the platform removed likes, commonly used as a measure of popularity.
In 2019, the company had started hiding like counts for a small group of people to understand if it lessens some pressure when posting to Instagram. The platform found it beneficial in the case of some people while others still wanted to see like counts in order to help them track what’s popular.
Meanwhile, Facebook is also looking at a similar experience to be rolled out in the coming weeks. This will be implemented in response to users calling for more control over how they interact with content on the platform. Facebook had already tested hiding likes on others’ posts in Australia.
In March, the photo-sharing platform happened to hide likes for a large number of users which evinced strong reactions. Some users supported the move saying it’s good for users’ mental health, while others viewed it as catastrophic for creators associating with brands. On the platform, likes are expressed by pressing a heart-shaped icon on a user’s post.
The global test, which will involve a small percentage of Instagram users, will still allow users to be able to privately see their own like count.