Would we feel less envious, shameful and competitive if Instagram didn’t tell us how many Likes a post received? That’s the idea behind Instagram now hiding Like counts from both a post’s viewers as part of an experiment in Canada. A post’s creator can still open the Likers window to see the names of everyone who hearted their post. Instagram has also recently redesigned the profile to make follower count much less prominent, the app’s head Adam Mosseri says.
Even though Like totals would still impact how the algorithm ranks a post in the feed, if rolled out, the change would refocus Instagram on self-expression instead of being a popularity contest. Users might be less likely to delete a photo or video because it didn’t get enough Likes, or resort to their Finsta account to post something authentic but less “perfect.” It could make us less likely to envy-spiral because we wouldn’t see friends or influencers getting more Likes than us. And people might be more willing to post what truly represents their complicated identities because they’re not battling for the biggest Like count.