Instagram’s new like prototype

Paige Smith, Business Editor & Columnist

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Likes and follower counts are a large part of Instagram. But what if the like count was taken away? According to TechCrunch, in a new Instagram prototype, the number of likes will not be listed for an accounts followers to see. Follow counts on profiles are still visible to everyone whether the profile is public or private in the prototype, but like counts for individual posts will be hidden. Only the user who owns the account will be able to see the number of likes on their posts.

If this prototype is released, it wouldn’t be the first big change thatIinstagram has made. First Instagram stopped showing posts in chronological order, then they added stories, and IGTV shortly followed. Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom told TechCrunch writer Josh Constine back in 2016 that “getting away from the pressure of like counts was one impetus for Instagram launching Stories.”

The prototype lists each account handle that likes the post, so if you are really curious you could count down the list, but the total number will not be shown. In the prototype, instead of the like count it just says “and others liked this post,” after the handles it displays.

There is still no word on when or if this new prototype will be rolled out into the public. But if it is, Instagram won’t be the only social media platform not showing like or view counts. Other social media platforms like Snapchat never showed friend counts or view counts on posts available to the public. Snapchat only shows view counts on the posts made by your account, and friend count isn’t directly shown. The only way to truly know how many friends you have on Snapchat is to go down the list and count, and depending on how many friends you have that can be a tedious process. Instagram releases updates frequently so changes will be coming soon.