Instagram to test removing like counts in the US

The social media platform's CEO, Adam Mosseri announced the move at a recent tech event

Instagram have announced that they are planning on testing the removal of like counts in the US as early as next week.

The Facebook-owned photo sharing service’s CEO, Adam Mosseri shared the news at a Wired event in San Francisco Friday (November 8). The first roll-out will see the change carried out on a limited number of US accounts.

This isn’t the first time that Instagram has removed like counts. In an attempt to encourage conversations instead of popularity contests, the social media giant has been experimenting with it for a few months now in other countries.

Testing began in Canada this spring, and more tests followed in half a dozen other countries, including Brazil, New Zealand, Japan and Australia.

Like counts won’t be removed altogether. Users will still be able to see how often a post of theirs has been liked. However, these like counts won’t be viewable by followers anymore, and won’t appear in public feeds.

Instagram

Adam Mosseri and Tracee Ellis Ross discuss Instagram in San Francisco.

“It’s about young people,” Mosseri said during the chat, hosted by Wired and featuring actress Tracee Ellis-Ross. “The idea is to try and depressurise Instagram, make it less of a competition, give people more space to focus on connecting with the people that they love, things that inspire them.”

Instagram isn’t the only company that is attempting to remove publicly available engagement metrics from their platform. Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter have all experimented with removing engagement metrics from their platforms.

Meanwhile, Matthew McConaughey has joined Instagram to mark his 50th birthday.

The star’s first post was a video of him explaining his reasons for joining the photo-sharing platform, and what people can expect from his account.

Previously, Jennifer Aniston sparked excitement among Friends fans in October by posting a picture of herself with the rest of her co-stars from the hit sitcom on Instagram.

Aniston, who played Rachel Green on the show throughout its 10-season run from 1994 to 2004, uploaded the image as her first post.