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Instagram to Start Hiding Like Counts in the U.S.

Instagram likes are about to disappear from public view for many more users: The Facebook-owned photo sharing service is getting ready to hide like counts from U.S. users as early as next week, CEO Adam Mosseri announced at a Wired event in San Francisco Friday.

In an attempt to strengthen conversations over popularity contests, Instagram has been experimenting with hiding like counts from its users for a few months now. The service first began testing hidden like counts in Canada this spring, and subsequently expanded the test to half a dozen other countries, including Brazil, Japan and Australia.

Instagram won’t be getting rid of like counts altogether; users will still be able to see how often a post of theirs has been liked. However, these like counts won’t be displayed to followers anymore, and won’t appear in public Instagram feeds.

Facebook recently also announced plans to test hidden like counts within its core Facebook app, starting with users in Australia. “We are running a limited test where like, reaction, and video view counts are made private across Facebook,” a Facebook spokesperson said at the time. “We will gather feedback to understand whether this change will improve people’s experiences.”

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