Instagram is launching a global test where users can choose whether to hide likes counts on their own or other people’s posts.
Facebook Inc owned company said it conducted this latest test after receiving mixed feedback from previous tests in which it removed likes, a common metric of popularity.
The company further said, it is not allowing or disabling the functionality for more users at this time.
Instead, it will begin to explore a new option that allows users to choose whether or not they want to see the Like counts on other people’s posts.
The initial purpose of hiding Like counts was to minimize the fear and humiliation that comes with sharing content on social media.
Furthermore, removing Likes helped to minimize the type of bandwagon mentality that encourages people to like stuff that are already viral rather than assessing the content for themselves.
In response to users’ requests for more control over how they engage with content on the site, Facebook is testing a similar experience that will be released in the coming weeks.
In Australia, Facebook had previously experimented with hiding likes on other people’s posts.
During the tests, however, not everyone accepted that the removal of Likes was a positive improvement.
Some users expressed the desire to see Like counts in order to keep track of what was trending and prominent.
The case for retaining Likes was stronger in the influencer community, where creators used the statistic to convey their worth to partners such as brands and advertisers.
Both pro and con reasons for Likes are valid, which is why Instagram’s new test will place the decision back in the hands of users.
According to the company, this latest test will be available to a limited percentage of Instagram users worldwide.