Instagram removes likes for Australian users in second global test

From today, Australian Instagram users won’t be able to see how many likes other posts receive, with the social media platform implementing a trial that was first rolled out in Canada in May.

Australia will be the second market in the world to participate in the test to remove the total number of likes on photos and video views in the feed, permalink pages, and profiles, in an effort to make Instagram not “feel like a competition”.

Users will be alerted to the test via this message

“We want Instagram to be a place where people feel comfortable expressing themselves. We hope this test will remove the pressure of how many likes a post will receive, so you can focus on sharing the things you love,” said Mia Garlick, ANZ director of policy at Facebook, which owns Instagram.

“We are now rolling the test out to Australia so we can learn more about how this can benefit people’s experiences on Instagram, and whether this change can help people focus less on likes and more on telling their story.”

Instead of seeing a total number of likes, users will only be able to see the list of people who have liked a post that isn’t theirs

Users will still be able to see how many likes their own posts receive by tapping on the ‘liker list’, but others will not be able to see that number.

For businesses and influencers, Instagram said the test will not impact measurement tools like Insights and Ads Manager, however it will mean brands’ and influencers’ followers won’t be able to see how many likes their posts are getting.

The test will also be expanded to other countries this month.

The most-liked Instagram post is currently a picture of an egg, with more than 53m likes, which launched a world-record attempting campaign to dethrone Kylie Jenner’s record of 18m.


Instagram also made headlines this week when the suspected killer of 17-year-old Bianca Devins posted photos of her dead body to Instagram, with both his account and the images viewable for hours. Many have criticised the platform for not removing the content sooner, with some saying they reported the images, only to be alerted that they didn’t violate Instagram’s community guidelines.

And last week, the platform released two new products in response to growing concern that social media platforms aren’t doing enough to combat online bullying.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.