No, You're Not Seeing Things: Instagram Accidentally Hid "Likes" For a Number of Users
Update: If your Instagram "likes" suddenly disappeared on March 2, never fear. The app accidentally included a number of users in an ongoing test to hide the feature. "We've been testing a new experience to hide likes on Feed posts," a Facebook spokesperson shared in a statement. "We unintentionally added more people to the test today, which was a bug — we're fixing this issue and restoring like counts to those people as soon as possible."
Instagram was met with resistance when it originally announced plans to hide "like" counts for US users nearly two years ago. Below, see more reporting from the 2019 reveal.
Original post: Like it or not, Instagram is about to look different for a handful of users in the United States. At Wired25 on Nov. 8, Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri announced the photo-sharing app would be experimenting with hiding "like" counts on posts for select users starting on Monday. This follows a similar experiment the platform conducted a few months ago in New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Ireland, Australia, Brazil, and Italy.
Mosseri explained the change was prompted by a desire to "depressurize Instagram, make it less of a competition and give people more space to focus on connecting with people that they love, things that inspire them." As part of the test, affected accounts will be able to see their own "likes," but not the metrics of the people they follow or other users. Even if users are selected to be part of the test group, they will have the ability to opt out.
Instagram users have expressed mixed reactions following Mosseri's announcement. On one hand, people are praising the decision to emphasize connection and move away from a "likes"-based culture. On the other, influencers who use the platform to market products are understandably upset and will inevitably be impacted. Rapper Cardi B even chimed in on Sunday to ask whether Instagram's commenting feature should be disabled before "likes."
Ahead, see some reactions to the big change.