As an app that’s easy to get sucked into, Instagram seems to be well aware of the psychological impact it has on its audiences. Last year, the app even added a screen time feature so users could track their time spent in it.
Instagram may be introducing another update to change how users interact with it. A recently discovered code shows that Instagram may soon take away Like counts from posts, according to TechCrunch.
The design update was spotted by Jane Manchun Wong, who shared it in a tweet.
“We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get,” Instagram said to TechCrunch. “During this test, only the person who shares a post will see the total number of likes it gets.”
The update is a prototype that is currently unavailable to the public.
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
Instagram may be choosing to introduce this update because it’s easy to get obsessed with tracking Likes on the platform. People can also develop a sort of herd mentality, where they only Like a post because it has a lot of Likes already.
“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 said to TechCrunch.
Although Instagram is increasing features that should help users’ mental health, the company has also rolled out updates that can keep audiences hooked to the platform.
Recently, Instagram implemented a feature that lets users shop directly through the app, following updates that tag items in posts with prices and brand locations. Its screen time feature lets users set a timer to limit their use, but it doesn’t actually block any functionality once they reach their limit.
Ultimately, Instagram’s endgame isn’t clear. But, taking away Like counts could lessen comparisons and other unhealthy habits practiced on the app.