Did you see your Instagram likes suddenly disappear this week? If you did, you are not alone. No, it’s not an expansion of the test that Instagram started back in 2019; a bug caused it. Earlier today, Instagram acknowledged the issue and said that it has been testing the experience to hide likes on Feed posts and accidentally added more people to the test today, a bug. Instagram confirmed that it is working on the issue and will restore likes for people who were not part of the test so far.
Due to the bug, the likes counter on posts was replaced by a mere text that said the post was liked by a named account “and others.”
Within a few hours, Instagram confirmed that the issue had been fixed.
The bug, which many thoughts were the expansion of the text, did restart the online conversation on the move’s effectiveness. While some positively supported the test, many believe removing the likes counter would make no difference.
In November 2019, Instagram started testing hiding the like counter for users in India. The platform believes that hiding the like counter on posts may help with users’ mental health. To be clear, removing like counter does not mean that users will not have any information on how many likes they get. They will still be able to go into the post details and view the likes on their posts. The change will hide the likes we currently see on other people’s posts.