Instagram is officially getting rid of likes from today.
It’s a new feature that will be compulsory for all Australian account users meaning you can’t opt in or opt out.
Watch the exclusive announcement above
The aim is to encourage users to focus on the photos and videos they share and not the number of likes.
Instagram Australia’s Director of Policy Mia Garlick spoke exclusively to 7NEWS.com.au to explain the changes.
When you look at your own account you will still see your like count but other people won’t be able to see the likes on your posts.
Likewise, you will not be able to see how many likes other posts have received. Video views will also be made private.
Will it be forever?
Canada was the first country to do the trial which commenced in May. Australia joins Japan, Ireland, Italy, Brazil, and New Zealand in the extension of the trial.
“Well you know it’s all a test – we’re just getting some feedback and understanding if this improves the experience and just letting people see what it feels like to not be focussed on the like count”, Garlick said.
Is this the end of influencers?
Not yet. The likes will be made private for all accounts including influencers. But the test will not affect the measurement tools like Insights or Ads Manager.
“The really important part is the data is still there for influencer and business accounts data and all of their ad manager data. So in terms of the business and feedback influencers get – it will be the same”, Garlick said.