Instagram is expected to hide most US users' like counts next week, making the count only viewable to the poster. The change has been a long time coming due to controversy around the app's impact on users' mental health.
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According to TechCrunch, at San Francisco's Wired25 conference on Friday, Instagram's CEO, Adam Mosseri announced the planned change stating, "the idea is to try to depressurize Instagram, make it less of a competition, and give people more space to focus on connecting with the people they love and things that inspire them." With this shift, the company expects to "reduce anxiety" and "reduce social comparison" even if it happens to have negative side effects on Instagram's business.
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Though the change is just now hitting the US, the app has already tested this feature in other countries including Canada, Australia, Japan and Brazil. However, this change may not yet be permanent as Mosseri noted, "we have to see how it affects how people feel about the platform, how it affects how they use the platform, how it affects the creator ecosystem.”
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