Instagram has been working on the hide like-count option with select users since 2019, where the company essentially hides the total number of likes and views on photos and videos, respectively, posted to the Feed. It appears that the social media company now ‘unintentionally’ added more people to the test, seemingly caused by a bug in the system. The Facebook-owned platform further notes in a tweet that the issue has been fixed, and users will need to restart the app to see the Like-count on posts again. Instagram is yet to confirm whether the option to hide Like counts on posts will roll out widely in future.
While initially announcing the option, the company had claimed that it wants users to focus on the content rather than the numbers. However, the platform still allowed testers to view likes on their own posts but hid numbers on other people’s photos and videos. The somewhat controversial feature is still critical to professional content creators who rely on these numbers while negotiating sponsorship deals. Whereas for end-users, the feature is hotly debated, and that is why Instagram is slowly testing it with more users before making a decision. The Hide Like-counts option was still in the works last month, as highlighted by social media expert Matt Navarra.
This issue has now been fixed. Pull down to refresh your feed and your likes should restore – thanks for your patience!— Instagram Comms (@InstagramComms) March 3, 2021
Instagram is also testing another feature with select users, where the platform prevents users from sharing posts in their Stories. The Facebook-owned social media company started sending out a notification to select users saying, “We hear from our community that they want to see fewer feed posts in stories. During this test, you won’t be able to add a feed to your post.” It is important to remember that Instagram is only testing this feature, and it is likely that the company may not implement the change altogether.