Instagram users can breathe a sigh of relief. The recent disappearance of like counts was apparently the result of “a bug.”
A number of people took to social media on Tuesday, claiming they could no longer see the amount of likes an Instagram post had received, sparking speculation that the years-long private likes test had been expanded. In 2019, the tech giant announced it would begin hiding like counts for select users across the globe as part of a test program that aimed to improve user experience.
“We are testing this because we want your followers to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get,” an Instagram spokesperson previously told Techcrunch. “[...] We understand that this is important for many creators, and while this test is in exploratory stages, we are thinking through ways for them to communicate value to their brand partners.”
The company hasn’t shared many updates about the test run over the past year, but has confirmed that the program is ongoing. Instagram’s PR team addressed the concerns over the vanishing like counts in a tweet Tuesday night, claiming the recent disappearance was unintentional and due to a glitch.
“We’ve been testing a new experience to hide likes on Feed posts,” the tweet read. “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.”
“The idea is to try to depressurize Instagram, make it less of a competition, give people more space to focus on connecting with people they love, things that inspire them,” Instagram head Adam Mosseri said back in 2019 about the company’s plan of hiding likes from public view. “But it’s really focused on young people. We have to see how it affects how people feel about the platform, how it affects how they use the platform...”