Instagram posts to no longer display the number of likes

Social media fans, your Instagram feed is about to look a whole lot different. Rolling out from Thursday, you'll no longer be seeing how many likes each post has. 

The new feature is going to affect all Kiwis over the coming days, meaning you won't be able to see if that influencer got 3000 likes, or if your mum got a solid 20. They'll also no longer be able to see yours. 

You know that Black Mirror episode 'Nosedive'? This is like the opposite of that. 

Instagram says it's testing the feature across Aotearoa in an attempt to remove some of the competitive nature of the app. 

"We want Instagram to be a place where people feel comfortable expressing themselves," says the Director of Policy for Facebook ANZ, Mia Garlick. 

"We hope this test will remove the pressure of how many likes a post will receive, so you can focus on sharing the things you love." 

The new look on your Instagram feed.
The new look on your Instagram feed. Photo credit: Supplied.

Before those of you that need constant validation start to panic, there are a few caveats. Yes, you will still be able to see how many likes you're getting on your own posts, even if your followers can't.

But the number won’t automatically appear - instead, you will have to tap 'others' under your post to go through to the total number of likes. 

A notification will appear on your feed some time in the next couple of days, advising of the change.
A notification will appear on your feed some time in the next couple of days, advising of the change. Photo credit: Supplied.

Influencers, don't stress out and hit Seek.co.nz just yet; for businesses and creators on Instagram, measurement tools like Insights or Ads Manager won't be affected.

The writing has possibly been on the wall since the massive success of Instagram Stories, which have completely changed the way many use the app. While you can see who's viewed yours, Stories also don't display public metrics. 

Unlike many experimental moves from tech giants, we're not the first to get a taste of it. Instagram initially rolled out the feature in Canada earlier this year, where it's said to have been a success. 

Many are praising the app's recent increased efforts to prioritise mental health. The new roll out joins several new features, including an anti-bullying algorithm which asks users "are you sure?" before posting a comment it has recognised as unkind. 

Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri told Time magazine in an interview earlier this month they are "in a pivotal moment". 

"We want to lead the industry in this fight," he said. 

According to the BBC, the app has been under pressure to deal with its bullying problem after high profile cases, including the suicide of British teenager Molly Russell.

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