Instagram considers hiding number of likes on posts to curb teen anxiety

Facebook says it may end the Instagram 'likes' count in an effort to make the social media platform "less pressurised".

On Tuesday, the Facebook-owned platform said it would test a plan in Canada where likes under a photo could not be seen.

It would also try an "away mode", where during hard times, users could block themselves from the platform if they wished, The Daily Mail reports.

"We want people to worry a little bit less about how many likes they are getting on Instagram and spend a bit more time interacting with the people that they care about," Instagram chief Adam Mosseri reportedly said at Facebook's annual F8 conference.

Mosseri added that as part of the trial, the total number of likes could not be seen, but users could still view who had liked a post. He said Instagram wants to lead the way in combating cyber bullying.

Last year, research from the University of Pennsylvania found that the longer you spend on social media, the lonelier you are likely feel.

"Using less social media than you normally would leads to significant decreases in both depression and loneliness," explained research leader Dr Melissa Hunt.

"Some of the existing literature on social media suggests there's an enormous amount of social comparison that happens. When you look at other people's lives, particularly on Instagram, it's easy to conclude that everyone else's life is cooler or better than yours."


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