Instagram To Hide Number Of ‘Likes’ On Posts To Curb Depression
Social media app, Instagram has begun moves to address mental health concerns about its usage by hiding “likes” posts shared by users.
The Facebook-owned app already launched a trial of the feature in Australia, Brazil and several other major markets on Thursday.
This means users in the six countries will no longer be able to see the number of likes other people’s posts receive.
“We want Instagram to be a place where people feel comfortable expressing themselves,” Facebook Australia and New Zealand policy director Mia Garlick said in a statement.
“We hope this test will remove the pressure of how many likes a post will receive, so you can focus on sharing the things you love.”
Australia, Italy, Ireland, Japan, Brazil and New Zealand are involved in the new trial, which follows an initial test that was launched in Canada in May.
Instagram, which has more than one billion users worldwide, is a platform that allows users to post images and videos that others can then like or comment on.
In the chosen test countries, likes will not be visible on people’s profiles, the main image feed or permalink pages.
While users will still be able to check the total number of likes on their own posts, they will still have to click through to another page in order to do so.
The move is coming after heightened criticisms from regulators and governments on the impact social media platforms can have on users. Some researchers have suggested that Instagram can negatively affect the mental health of young people who use it.