Instagram accidentally added more users to its “hidden likes” test

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Remember that test Instagram started testing back in 2019? The test involving the removal of the like counter from posts altogether? Well that test is seemingly still on the go and the only reason we know is because Instagram did an oopsie.

On Tuesday several Instagram users complained on other social media platforms that their like counter had been replaced with “and others”, leading many to assume the test was over and Instagram was removing the like counter.

As it so happens, that assumption was wrong and Instagram simply made a mistake.

“We’ve been testing a new experience to hide likes on Feed posts. We unintentionally added more people to the test today, which was a bug — we’re fixing this issue and restoring like counts to those people as soon as possible,” Instagram explained.

Thankfully the bug was only present for a few hours before it was fixed but folks were none too pleased with the brief change.

Some users complained that Instagram was taking away features which made the platform fun and engaging while others welcomed the change.

This could problematic for Instagram if it hopes to roll this test out to a wider audience.

Users clearly like seeing that like counter go up but that is exactly what Instagram is trying to stop by removing the counter.

“We want your friends to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get. You can still see your own likes by tapping on the list of people who’ve liked it, but your friends will not be able to see how many likes your post has received,” Instagram said when it first started testing this feature.

Something Instagram could do is make hiding like counters and option for users. That seems like a good middle ground but once you start considering things like influencer marketing, the water becomes a bit muddy.

The good news is that your like counter is back, well, so long as you weren’t participating in this test before the bug.

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.