Instagram has begun hiding likes and video views as part of a trial aimed at removing “the pressure” and shifting the focus to “sharing the things” its users enjoy.
A spokeswoman said the trial for some users in countries including Ireland, Italy and Australia was aimed at stopping the platform from feeling “like a competition”.
The change applies to the Instagram’s Feed, Permalink and Profile functions.
Studies suggest this instant feedback on content can boost people’s self-esteem but bring others down if they do not get as many likes.
“We want Instagram to be a place where people feel comfortable expressing themselves,” said Mia Garlick, Facebook Australia and New Zealand’s director of policy.
“We hope this test will remove the pressure of how many likes a post will receive, so you can focus on sharing the things you love.”
The trial began in Canada in May and has also been rolled out to Brazil, Japan and New Zealand.
It is thought it could be introduced in other countries including the UK if the trial proves a success.
The trial shows those on the social media platform a user name “and others” below posts, rather than the number of likes on their feed.
It does allow users to see how many likes they have received on their own posts.
The number of likes a post gets is a measure of success or popularity on Instagram.
Influencers who get paid for the content they showcase in their posts are also measured by the number of likes their social media activity draws.
But measurement tools for businesses will not be affected by the trial, Instagram’s spokeswoman said.
Last week the company unveiled an anti-bullying initiative following high-profile cases such as the death of British teenager Molly Russell.
The social media site has started rolling out a new feature which notifies people before they post that their comment may be considered offensive.