The Instagram app on Pixel 2.

Much has been said about the psychological impact of likes on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. But is it ruining social media in the first place? Well, Instagram might be testing a solution, according to developer and serial tipster Jane Wong.

Wong revealed that Instagram has removed the like count on posts as part of a test. This means your followers can’t see how many likes your posts have accrued. However, users are still able to view the like count for their own posts.

“We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get. During this test, only the person who shared a post will see the total number of likes it gets,” reads an Instagram alert, according to a screenshot shared by Wong.

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It’s a pretty interesting way to encourage more authentic sharing on the platform, as opposed to posting content purely for loads of likes. Instagram’s solution could theoretically reduce demand for buying likes too. After all, why buy likes when no-one else can see how faux popular your posts are? But as one Twitter user notes in response to the news, it could potentially encourage people to buy followers instead.

“You can see if someone bought followers by comparing the total number of followers to the number of likes/comments. Someone with 50k followers, but with only 100 likes doesn’t seem genuine. Once the number of likes is hidden, how are we (and brands!) supposed to check that?” writes @dannstweets.

Are you in favor of Instagram hiding the like count for followers? Let us know in the comments!

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