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Instagram began testing its hidden likes feature in Canada way back in 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 popular a specific post is. 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.

Also: Top Instagram marketing tips to boost your brand

Instagram says it’s testing this feature to 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” counter 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.

That’s all there is to it, no fancy hoops to jump through or anything. However, you can always add a Chrome extension that still requires you to log in through a browser. Check out the steps in the next section.


Try the Chrome extension!

Return of the likes

If you prefer another route or, for some reason, the method above doesn’t work for you, there is another way to see hidden likes on Instagram. The Chrome extension The Return of the Likes. Here’s how to do it!

  1. Download and install The Return of the Likes from the Chrome Web Store.
  2. Go to Instagram.com and log into your account.
  3. You can now see how many likes and comments posts have!

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