Remember when we told you that Instagram was planning on testing a feature that would hide likes from public view?
Well, it looks like they’re plunging ahead with the test and whether or not it is finally implemented could have huge implications for the future of the platform.
TechCrunch reports that Instagram told them that, “Later this week, we’re running a test in Canada that removes the total number of likes on photos and video views in Feed, Permalink pages and Profile…We are testing this because we want your followers to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get.”
Why Canada, you might ask?
Instagram tells TechCrunch that, “Canadians are highly social and tech-savvy, with over 24 million people connecting across our family of apps each month. We wanted to test this with a digitally savvy audience that has a thriving community on Instagram.”
This change accompanies a lessened emphasis on follower counts as well as tweaks to the algorithm that determines what content you see.
Under pressure from almost everyone to stop the insanity surrounding likes and followers, the changes wouldn’t eliminate likes but it would make them harder to calculate according to the testing parameters.
A user could see who has liked the photo but it would not tally the likes for them according to TechCrunch.
One group that could be adversely impacted by these changes are the so-called “influencer” class of Instagram users that worry about how they will get analytics if these changes go through.
Along those lines, Instagram said, “We understand that this is important for many creators, and while this test is in exploratory stages, we are thinking through ways for them to communicate value to their brand partners.”
Other features being considered for testing include a “nudge” feature that will limit hurtful comments, an “Away Mode” that is in between account deactivation and active, and enhanced interaction features that let you customize how you interact with other users.
Right now, you can unfriend them or block them, so the last feature in particular sounds like something that would benefit everyone.
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