From today, Australian Instagram users can no longer see the number of total ‘likes’ an Instagram post has received. Although you will still be able to see the number of likes your own posts get, this information won’t be available to others.

You can see the way posts will appear in the image below:

Instagram feed
Image credit: ABC

A couple of years ago, a UK study found that Instagram is one of the worst social media platforms when it comes to the mental health of young people. Other studies have also produced similar results. So, Instagram is rolling out this change in an effort to reduce the pressure and competition that can come with posting on Instagram, and therefore improve user experience.

“We want your friends to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get… We know that people come to Instagram to express themselves and to be creative and follow their passions. And we want to make sure it’s not a competition.”

    • – Mia Garlick, Director of Public Policy for Facebook and Instagram in Australia and New Zealand

This test feature was rolled out in Canada in May of this year, and Australia is the second test site. Other countries that will be included in this test include Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Japan and New Zealand. You don’t need to worry about these changes affecting your business, as you will still be able to access your account’s ‘insights’ page and find out how many likes your posts are getting.

We are interested to see how these changes roll out! We expect that influencers and brands that pay for Instagram likes are quite upset right now… But we’re on board for anything that improves user experience and reduces the negative effects of social media.

You can read more about these changes here.