Instagram is fun for lots of reasons: you can share your cute outfits, see what your friends are up to, and watch your favorite celebs interact with fans on IG Live. But, as stars like Hailey Bieber have pointed out, the social media platform can also have negative impacts on your mental health.
Those impacts might be one of the reasons that Instagram is reportedly considering a new feature — one that would hide how many likes a post has received. As noted by Mashable, code and security researcher Jane Manchun Wong first tweeted about the discovery on April 18 with a series of screenshots revealing what this new feature would potentially look like. In the images, each post lists a few of the users who have hit the like button, but then ends with “and others” rather than revealing an exact like count.
“We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get,” reads an in-app message in one of the screenshots. “During this test, only the person who shared a post will see the total number of likes it gets.”
Like the “Close Friends” feature added to Instagram Stories last fall, it seems as though hiding how many people have liked a post might help make our Instagram experience a little more private. Rather than focus on likes and clout, we could redirect our attention to what really matters — the photos and videos themselves.
In a statement to The Verge, however, an Instagram spokesperson shut down the notion that this change will be coming to our screens anytime soon. “We’re not testing this at the moment, but exploring ways to reduce pressure on Instagram is something we’re always thinking about,” they said.
Sounds to us like a great way to keep social media anxiety and pressure down — but we’ll have to see what other strategies the social media platform has up its sleeve.