Instagram Is Not Hiding Likes in the United States Yet

Instagram Hiding Likes United States

Getty/Wikimedia Commons Instagram CEO announced Friday, November 8, 2019 that Instagram would start a trial of hiding "likes" on the platform in the United States.

Instagram is rolling out a trial to hide “likes” on some user accounts in the United States, a test run that has already hit other countries. Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri announced on November 8, 2019 the trial in the U.S. would begin sometime next week.

Mosseri made his announcement at the WIRED25 summit. He said the shift is about protecting young people from comparisons that are so rampant on social media. He wants to hide “likes” as a trial run to see how it alters the way people use and enjoy the platform. You can watch his full interview here.

Instagram users will still be able to see how many “likes” their posts receive, but no one else will be able to see them, Mosseri said in the interview.

Here’s what you need to know:

Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri Said Hiding ‘Likes’ Is Part of an Effort to Make Instagram ‘The Safest Place on the Internet’

Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri said the point of hiding “likes” is to make it a safe place without pressure for young people.

“It’s about young people. The idea is to try and depressurize Instagram, make it less of a competition, give people more space to focus on connecting with people that they love and things that inspire them,” he said. “But it’s really focused on young people.”

You can watch the full interview here.

When Instagram announced the trial in other countries, they released a statement which said, “We want your friends to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get. You can still see your own likes by tapping on the list of people who’ve liked it, but your friends will not be able to see how many likes your post has received.”

Mosseri also announced the U.S. trial on Twitter.

“Heads up!” he wrote. “We’ve been testing making likes private on Instagram in a number of countries this year. We’re expanding those tests to include a small portion of people in the US next week. Looking forward to the feedback!”

Instagram Tested Hiding ‘Likes’ in Other Countries Before the United States

Instagram has already tested out hiding likes in seven other countries, including Brazil, Japan and Canada, Mosseri said in the interview with WIRED. The concept was also tested in Ireland, New Zealand, Australia and Italy.

“We’re actually announcing that we’re going to start testing in the U.S. next week,” Mosseri said. “Not the whole U.S. at once.”

He looked out at the crowd, and saw there were about 200 people. Some of them would have their likes hidden within the next week, he said.

The trial will not hit every user at the same time, but it will be rolled out across the platform slowly. He asked the crowd if they were “into the idea,” and they responded with applause.

“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,” he said. “But I’ve been spending a lot of time on this personally.”

Wired wrote that the concept has been tested by several other social media platforms.

“Facebook (which owns Instagram), YouTube, and Twitter have all experimented with removing engagement metrics from their platforms,” the WIRED article said. “As WIRED previously reported, social media researchers have argued that when users tailor their content to whatever garners the most engagement (or outrage), the result is a radicalized environment that makes healthy, happy conversations almost impossible.”

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