Your Instagram feed could soon look very different. The social media giant has considered doing away with like counts on users’ posts, in an effort to diffuse some of the ‘pressure’ from the platform.
Eagle-eyed app researcher Jane Manchun Wong spotted the change in Instagram’s Android code.
Wong posted screenshots showing how the feature would work, with a photo noticeably omitting how many people liked the photo.
In its place, it appears to state if people you follow liked the post, but not a total number.
Only the original poster can see how many likes their photo has gotten if they click on a button that says ‘View Likes.’
‘We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get,’ a pop up shown in one of the screenshots states.
‘During this test, only the person who shared a post will see the total number of likes it gets.’
Wong has correctly predicted many features before they were launched on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
However, Instagram claims that it has not tested removing the like count.
‘We’re not testing this at the moment, but exploring ways to reduce pressure on Instagram is something we’re always thinking about,’ a spokesperson said.
Earlier this week, Britain’s privacy regulator drafted rules that would prevent underage users from being able to like posts on Facebook and Instagram.
The proposal would stop social media companies from using so-called ‘nudge techniques’ that encourage children to return to their site and allow the sites to harvest their personal data.
‘This is the connected generation. The internet and all its wonders are hardwired into their everyday lives,’ Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said in a statement.
‘We shouldn’t have to prevent our children from being able to use it, but we must demand that they are protected when they do. This code does that.’