Instagram has been playing with like counts for several years now. In about half a dozen countries, the platform has been doing a test where it hides like counts altogether. Now Instagram is giving users the choice to customize how like counts work in a new test.
Reported by The Verge, the latest test is happening globally for small group of Instagram users. Instead of removing like counts when viewing others’ posts as it did in the testing that started in 2019, those part of the new experiment will get three choices: “choosing not to see like counts on anyone’s posts, turning them off for their own posts, or keeping the original experience.”
The goal of the original test was to have “your followers focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get.” At the time, Instagram also noted that while early feedback on removing likes was positive, “this is a fundamental change to Instagram, and so we’re continuing our test to learn more from our global community.”
Back then, Instagram also acknowledged that like counts were an important piece for many creators and brands advertising on the platform so that was part of the consideration with all of this.
The new test makes sense in light of all of that as it gives users total control over like counts with the three options. Instagram hasn’t shared more details on the test for now.