Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri announced a major change for the social media network at the WIRED25 conference, initially as a location-specific experiment, and possibly as a permanent feature in future versions on a global scale.
The change will involve hiding the Like count. Instagram had already begun testing this feature in Canada this April, and followed it with tests in New Zealand, Italy, Japan, Australia, Brazil, and Ireland.
“We will make decisions that hurt the business if they help people’s well-being and health.” – Instagram CEO, Adam Mosseri
Mosseri added: “We have to see how it affects how people feel about the platform, how it affects how they use the platform, how it affects the creator ecosystem. […] The idea is to try to depressurize Instagram, make it less of a competition, and give people more space to focus on connecting with the people they love and things that inspire them.”
A recent study reported by Social Media Today has revealed that in all but one country (Japan) hiding the Like count has resulted in a decrease in Likes for nearly all categories of users (tiered in four categories based on the number of followers). This spells bad news for influencers who will most likely see a drop in engagement post-implementation of this feature.