Studies have proven that addiction to social media and more so towards ‘Likes’ is akin to drug use. Some companies have woken up to this issue, and are coming up with different solutions. The latest to join this cause could be Facebook-owned Instagram.
Instagram is reportedly working on a prototype design that hides the Likes from a user’s post. Only the person sharing the post will be able to see how many Likes it has received. The design tweak was spotted by reverse engineering expert Jane Manchun Wong, and reported by TechCrunch. Wong discovered the design tweak in Instagram’s Android code, and was able to generate the screenshots.
Instagram is testing hiding like count from audiences,
as stated in the app: "We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get" pic.twitter.com/MN7woHowVN
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) April 18, 2019
As you can see in the screenshots, post the design tweak a user only sees one name and a couple of photos of the persons who liked the post. There is now a ‘View Likes’ button just below the photo to see a list of everyone who’s liked the post. This button though will only be visible to the person who has shared the post.
Describing the objective behind this design tweak, Instagram says, “We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get. During this test, only the person who share a post will see the total number of likes it gets.”
This is essentially an internal testing prototype, and will not be visible to the public. In a statement to TechCrunch, an Instagram spokesperson said, “We’re not testing this at the moment, but exploring ways to reduce pressure on Instagram is something we’re always thinking about.”
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While it is unclear if or when this design feature will be made public, it is quite a positive step from the Facebook-owned company. Hiding the Likes is sure to encourage users to share more on Instagram without really worrying about how many Likes it will receive. With the number not visible to the public, it is also likely to reduce unnecessary competition among users.