INSTAGRAM may ditch ‘likes’ in a bid to reduce the stress they cause users.
The Facebook-owned app says it’s running tests in which like counts on photos and videos are hidden from view.
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
The move has sparked outrage among Instagram fans, who argue that likes play a big part in their enjoyment of the app.
It was announced by Facebook yesterday at the tech titan’s annual F8 conference in San Jose, California.
Instagram chief Adam Mosseri said: “We want to make it a less pressurised environment.
“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.”
Alamy Instagram may ditch ‘likes’ in a bid to reduce the stress they cause users
Trials have already begun in Canada, he said.
Under the new system, the total number of likes would be hidden, but users would still be able to see who had interacted with their post.
Should it spread more widely, the change would mark a major upheaval for Instagram, which has used likes to front its app since its inception in 2010.
Mr Mosseri stressed Instagram hopes to tackle bullying and ease the pressure people feel to compete with other users.
He said: “What we aspire to do – and this will take years – is to lead the fight against online bullying.”
Instagram has already built the feature into a version of the app, but hasn’t publicly released it.
Instagram Racking up Instagram likes puts undue pressure on users, some experts believe
It was first spotted in April by Jane Wong, a software engineer who regularly uncovers hidden features buried inside Facebook and Instagram.
She shared images of the feature, which explained: “We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get.”
It went on: “During this test, only the person who shared a post will see the total number of likes it gets.”
Instagram fans have not reacted well to the news.
Instagram – the key factsHere’s what you need to know…
Instagram is a social network for sharing photos and videos
It was created back in October 2010 as an iPhone-exclusive app
A separate version for Android devices was released 18 months later
The app rose to popularity thanks to its filters system, which lets you quickly edit your photos with cool effects
When it first launched, users could only post square 1:1 ratio images, but that rule was changed in 2015
In 2012, Facebook bought Instagram for $1billion in cash and stock
In 2018, some analysts believe the app is worth closer to $100billion
In October 2015, Instagram confirmed that more than 40billion photos had been uploaded to the app
And in 2018, Instagram revealed that more than a billion people were using the app every month
One user wrote on Twitter: “Instagram is getting rid of likes, I can actually imagine some people dying.”
Another said: “Instagram testing hiding likes in Canada later this week. Let’s see how many Canadian bloggers it’ll p**s off.”
Of course, it’s entirely possible that this feature might never make it to the live version of Instagram.
Instagram regularly cooks up new features and changes – and typically tests them in advance of launching them on the app.
Alamy Trials in which likes are hidden on Instagram have already begun in Canada
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Facebook announced several major changes to its platforms at F8 this week.
Among them are a major redesign to Facebook – ditching its iconic blue menu bar and replacing it with a cleaner white design – as well as the introduction of “Secret Crush”, a new Facebook dating service.
You’ll also soon be able to buy stuff over WhatsApp and Instagram with new online shopping features.
What do you think of the changes to Instagram? Let us know in the comments!
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