- Instagram is testing a change to the app where the number of likes on your posts would be hidden to everyone besides yourself.
- Reverse engineer Jane Manchun Wong discovered the unreleased feature, and posted screenshots to Twitter.
- An Instagram spokesperson says the feature isn't being tested "at the moment," but the company is always considering "ways to reduce pressure" on the app.
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Instagram may be considering a major change to the app that would prevent everyone else from seeing the number of likes you get on your posts. Screenshots of the tested feature were posted to Twitter by Jane Manchun Wong, a reverse engineer known for finding unreleased features and changes hidden in the code of major social apps. Wong's screenshots show an Instagram post without a like count appearing below the image, and a note explaining you can only see the number of likes on your own posts.
"We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get," reads one of Wong's screenshots. "During this test, only the person who shared a post will see the total number of likes it gets."
It's important to note that the test doesn't show the complete elimination of Instagram's "like" feature. However, the number of likes is only visible to the person who shared the post.
Instagram told Business Insider that this isn't a feature the team is testing "at the moment," although the company didn't clarify whether it could be a tested feature in the future.
"Exploring ways to reduce pressure on Instagram is something we're always thinking about," an Instagram spokesperson told Business Insider.
Instagram potentially re-thinking of the "like" feature echoes comments made by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. In an appearance this week at TED 2019, Dorsey said one of the issues with Twitter as it stands is that it puts undue pressure on a user's number of followers and likes.
Dorsey said that if he could go back and start over with Twitter, he "wouldn't even have a like count in the first place."
"As we've been saying for a while, we are rethinking everything about the service to ensure we are incentivizing healthy conversation, that includes the like button," Twitter Comms said in a tweet from October.
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