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Instagram is Now Hiding Like Counts Globally, Tries to Reassure Influencers

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Instagram has officially expanded its “test” of the removal of public-facing like counts worldwide. The expansion was announced this morning on Twitter, where the company also attempted to reassure “creators” (read: influencers) that the company is not trying to take away their livelihood.

Instagram broke the news on Twitter less than 2 hours ago, where the Facebook-owned brand announced that “starting today, we’re expanding our test of private like counts globally.” If you’re part of this test, “you’ll no longer see the total number of likes and views on photos and videos posted to Feed unless they’re your own.”

But unlike the previous tweet back in July, when Instagram expanded the test to seven countries in total, this announcement was followed up by two more tweets. The first reassures regular users that this “fundamental change to Instagram” is being taken very seriously, reiterating that initial feedback has been positive:

And the second attempts to comfort “creators” (read: Influencers) who have been less-than-thrilled by how this change might impact their ability to communicate results to potential sponsors. In the tweet, Instagram says they “understand that like counts are important for many creators,” and assures influencers that they are “actively thinking through ways for creators to communicate value to their partners.”

Responses to this initiative have been mixed from the start. Some believe that it’s a step in the right direction—one that will “re-focus” the platform on images and help curb some of the negative effects Instagram allegedly has on teens’ mental health; others see this as the final nail in the Instagram coffin—a veiled attempt to take money back from influencers and a harbinger of the platform’s imminent demise.

Whatever side you stand on, one thing is becoming abundantly clear: hiding public-facing likes is no longer a “test,” it’s an extended rollout. Instagram may disagree publicly, but at this point, the idea that this global expansion will lead Instagram to reconsider and reverse this “test” is laughable.

(via Engadget)

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