Instagram has started hiding likes to stop feeds 'feeling like a competition'

Instagram has started hiding the number of likes a post gets as part of a trial aimed at removing ‘the pressure’ of the ‘gram.

The idea has been gaining traction for a while and it seems that the photo-sharing social network has finally started trials.

Users in countries including Ireland, Italy and Australia are among the first to experience the change which applies to the Feed, Permalink and Profile parts of the app.

According to Instagram the move is designed to shift the focus away from making Instagram feel ‘like a competition’ where users compete to see how many likes they can rack up.

‘We want Instagram to be a place where people feel comfortable expressing themselves,’ said Mia Garlick, Facebook’s director of policy for Australia and New Zealand.

‘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.’

The trial began in Canada in May and has also been rolled out to Brazil, Japan and New Zealand.

It shows those on the social media platform a user name ‘and others’ below posts, rather than the number of likes on their feed. It does allow users to see how many likes they have received on their own posts.

However, Facebook (which owns Instagram) has confirmed that measurement tools for businesses will not be affected by the trial.

Last week the company unveiled an anti-bullying initiative following high-profile cases such as the death of British teenager Molly Russell. The social media site has started rolling out a new feature which notifies people before they post that their comment may be considered offensive.

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