Instagram could be getting ready to hide Like counts

Ruben Fields
April 23, 2019

Instagram is modifying "Like" counts option in which audience will not view how many likes a post gets.

Earlier this week, Britain's privacy regulator drafted rules that would prevent underage users from being able to like posts on Facebook and Instagram.

Researcher and software engineer Jane Manchun Wong first discovered the design change; she's proven herself a consummate reverse engineering expert by discovering a handful of hidden features on other apps, too, including Facebook and Twitter.

Instagram states, "We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get". And so, only the person who posted that photo will be able to see the number of likes he gets on that post.

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An Instagram spokesperson says the feature isn't being tested "at the moment", but the company is always considering "ways to reduce pressure" on the app.

Recently, she spotted a hidden Instagram feature that would hide the public "like" counts and in turn only make the numbers available to the person who has posted the photo. And just after a few days of this announcement Instagram reflected this change.

Of course, Wong's discovery led to quite a bit of backlash. Hiding the Likes is sure to encourage users to share more on Instagram without really worrying about how many Likes it will receive. It also didn't hide follower counts, which more commonly measure one's popularity, nor did it appear to impact the way posts are ranked by Instagram's inescapable algorithmic feed.

However, there is no plan to hide the number of followers in a user's profile. The social media giant said in late March that it had stored passwords in plain text on its internal servers. A report by the British Information Commissioner's Office stated that these features and techniques "nudge" users into spending more time on these platforms and in effect end up damaging their wellbeing.

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