Get ready to potentially say goodbye to one of Instagram’s most notable features. According to TechCrunch, Instagram is currently considering the option to get rid of users’ ability to see the number of likes another user’s post has.
The news follows allegedly leaked screenshots of a possible future update. The screenshots were acquired by Jane Manchun Wong, who uncovered the app was currently testing a prototype of the feature.
While the idea may come as a surprise for some, it appears as though Instagram is trying to figure out how to put less of an emphasis on social media validation. Instead, Instagram wants to take a take a step back and allow users to focus on the content they post, not the number of likes.
“We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get,” Instagram says in one of the screenshots from Wong. “During this test, only the person who shares a post will see the total number of likes it gets.”
If the update in the screenshots were to end up being approved, the only user that would be able to see the number of likes a post gets, is the person who posted it. Therefore, the update could potentially lessen the culture surrounding an unhealthy method of comparing oneself to others.
You can check out screenshots below.
Instagram is testing hiding like count from audiences,
as stated in the app: “We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get” pic.twitter.com/MN7woHowVN
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) April 18, 2019
Of course, Wong’s discovery led to quite a bit of backlash. Following that, Instagram told TechCrunch that the screenshots were simply an internal prototype, and they were not currently testing getting rid of “likes” on the app itself. Instead, they express awareness of the issue at hand.
“We’re not testing this at the moment, but exploring ways to reduce pressure on Instagram is something we’re always thinking about,” an Instagram spokesperson tells TechCrunch.
What do you think of “like” features on social media? Sound off in the comments below.