Instagram has revealed that it is testing a version of the app that could enable users to hide likes and view counts from the public.
The Facebook subsidiary is addressing worries that teens and adults may be becoming preoccupied with how many likes the may be getting on a post.
Indeed, social media use has sparked debates over mental health issues including symptoms of anxiety and depression.
At the latest F8 developer conference, Instagram said that it had launched the test app in Canada to monitor how user behaviour could change. Likes and views will no longer be viewable to audiences, but only the person who posted a photo or video.
The company’s CEO Adam Mosseri said:
“We want people to worry a little bit less about how many likes they’re getting on Instagram and spend a bit more time connecting with the people that they care about. We do hear people worry about how many like counts they get.”
The update may be good news for parents and social media users worried about their metric-associated anxiety levels. However, it may spark a backlash among influencers who rely on likes and views across their posts as a measure of their content’s effectiveness.
Instagram is the most popular influencer marketing platform. Taking away likes and view counts could make it much harder for content creators to attract brands to work with.