Instagram launches Canadian test urging more focus on photos, less on 'likes'

The social media site will make the 'like' counts private for some users in a test that is currently limited to Canada.

Social media site will make 'like' counts private for some users in Canada during test

Instagram, shown in this handout photo, has announced a test in Canada to change the way some users see 'likes.' (Instagram/Canadian Press)

Instagram is launching a test in Canada this week that will make the "like" counts on posts private for some users.

A spokesperson for Facebook, which owns Instagram, said the test is part of an effort to encourage users to focus on the photos and videos being shared, rather than how many likes they receive.

He said a select group of Canadian users will have the number of likes and video views removed from their Instagram feeds, permalink pages and profiles.

"We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get," said a notice that Instagram released to demonstrate what users will see if they are part of the test.

The spokesperson said users involved in the test, which is currently limited to Canada, will be able to see the like counts on photos and videos they upload, but the number will be concealed on other people's posts.

He says those in the test group can still see a list of people who liked a post, and for all other Canadians, it will be business as usual.

The spokesperson described the trial as exploratory and noted that Instagram doesn't always roll out features it tests.


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