Instagram recently started testing “private like counts” – a feature that hides the number of likes a post has on users’ news feeds. The social media giant is currently running this test in seven countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Japan, and our very own New Zealand.
We’re currently running a test that hides the total number of likes and video views for some people in the following countries:
✅ New Zealand
While this feature was framed as a step towards rehumanising the platform and removing the pressure of quantifying people’s sense of value and self-worth (phew!), it’s been caught in a whirlwind of controversy within the marketing community.
We explore what this potential change in the platform could mean for users, advertisers, and the platform’s business at large. Read on!
Private Like Counts
The “private like counts” feature was announced by head of Instagram Adam Mosseri on the 30th of April at Facebook F8.
Adam Mosseri at Facebook F8
As you scroll through your Instagram feed, the number of like counts will no longer appear. People will still be able to see who liked a post (and can manually count it – if you’ve got the time). However, only the post owner will be able to see the number of likes if they tap through to the likers list.