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Instagram has been trialing a hidden likes feature for over a year now, with tests beginning in Canada back in May 2019. The company then gradually extended the trial to more countries before going global last November.

The move hides ‘like’ counts on selected accounts so their followers are unable to see how many likes an image or video has. There’s no way to opt in or out of this trial — if Instagram selects your account, it looks like it’s going to be affected for as long as the test lasts.

Instagram says it’s trialing this feature to try and remove the “pressure” of posting content for likes, putting user focus back on the images themselves rather than their perceived popularity. This seems like the company’s way to try and battle the negative aspects of the platform, as studies have linked Instagram to mental health issues.

However, the move has — predictably — faced some backlash. Likes and Followers are the currency of Instagram and some users rely on the public “Likes” display for business purposes. So, for those of you who follow any accounts affected by this — and still want to see how many likes their posts are getting — we’ve found a workaround.

How to see hidden likes on Instagram

The solution is deceptively simple and doesn’t require any additional downloads or software, just access to a web browser. Instead of viewing a post with hidden likes in the Instagram app, all you have to do is view it in a browser — mobile or PC. Check out the step-by-step instructions below to see exactly how to do it.

  1. Head to Instagram.com in a browser on your mobile device or PC.
  2. Log in.
  3. Start browsing — you should be able to see like counts on all Instagram posts.
Instagram screenshots side-by-side showing how to see hidden likes.

Instagram via the dedicated app (left) and the Instagram website accessed via web browser (right).

We’ve had success with this method in Australia, and I suspect it will apply in other regions as well. Let us know in the comments if it worked for you.

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