Chasing like counts on social media and seeking approval from your friends are known to have a toll on your mental health and self-esteem. Instagram took it upon itself to curb such prevailing behavioral ramifications when it began hiding likes from posts for some of its users earlier this year. This change is being tested in seven countries worldwide, and the US will join the list as soon as this week.

At the WIRED25 conference last week, Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri confirmed the test’s expansion to the US, where just a couple of hundred users may see the updated feed section with hidden like counts on posts. You'll still get to see the likes on your own posts, it's only your followers that won't. We aren’t sure when (or if) the feature will get out of its test phase for general availability.

The US will follow markets like Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Japan, and New Zealand, where the test has been underway since April. Even Instagram’s parent Facebook is experimenting with a similar implementation that could benefit its billions of users.

I can already hear social media influencers crying.

Global expansion

Following Mosseri’s statement at a rather relaxed conference, Instagram has formally announced the expansion of its private like counts test to all its global markets. So the experiment is no longer limited to a few countries anymore. Anyone randomly selected to try out this sea change will be notified by a banner in their Instagram app, similar to the one shown in the screenshot below. Meanwhile, Instagram is formulating a way for creators to fill in their sponsors about a post’s reach, in case a screenshot doesn’t suffice.

Developer: Instagram
Price: Free+