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18 July 2019, 14:41
Instagram users in Australia are having the amount of likes their pictures receive hidden, as part of a trial.
Instagram – the photo-sharing app Selena Gomez recently removed from her phone – is trialling hiding the amount of likes a picture receives from users in Australia, in a bid to “remove pressure” from the picture-sharing app’s users.
The likes on pictures and viewings of videos won’t be visible to others, but users will still be able to see a list of likes on their own posts. However, the specific number won’t be visible.
The aim of the trail is to “create a less pressurised environment for people to feel comfortable expressing themselves”.
While some influencers might be unhappy about the changes, brands and businesses will still be able to see how many views and likes their posts receive in the measurement tools part of the app.
Mia Garlick, the 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.
“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.”
The trial is only temporary and Instagram – who are owned by Facebook – will decide whether to make the change permanent once the trial ends.
After trialling in Canada and Australia, the changes will also be temporarily made to New Zealand, Japan, Ireland, Italy and Brazil.
It comes after Instagram started testing a feature that allows users to hide comments from others, making the comment only visible to you and them.
The app will also start asking: “Are you sure you want to post this?” If its AI functions pick up on something which could be deemed offensive.