According to three former employees, Instagram, Facebook’s photo-sharing app, hides the number of Likes in user posts, in addition to the reasons Facebook has previously made public. Since April, Instagram has been trying to hide “likes” in some areas, starting in Canada and then expanding to Japan and Brazil.
Last month, Adam Moseri, the head of Instagram, said in an interview that Instagram would begin testing hidden “likes” in the United States. The U.S. is Instagram’s largest market, with more than 106 million users. Currently, hidden “likes” numbers have been selected by some users in the United States to begin testing.
“We just wanted to reduce the pressure within Instagram a little bit and make the competition a little bit less competitive,” Moseri said at the time. Our intention is to reduce anxiety and social comparison, which is particularly important for young people. ”
Instagram believes that hiding the number of “likes” will get people to refocus on photos, rather than how many likes they get, and help eliminate some of the negative effects the social network has been accused of having on mental health.
But in fact, Instagram’s motivations may be much more than that. According to three former employees, there is also an assumption within Instagram that hiding “likes” will increase the number of posts people post on the service. Because when their posts don’t get much attention, they feel uncomfortable.
It’s clear that posting more means users are spending more time on Instagram, increasing the ability of Instagram to show more ads. Instagram is a key part of Facebook’s future, and it is the most popular social app among teenagers, with more than 1 billion monthly users.
Instagram declined to comment on the claim.