Instagrammers face a radical change to how they use the popular social media app with an overhaul to how likes are displayed.
From Thursday morning, Australian Instagram users will no longer be able to view the number of likes on photos and videos of other profiles.
The total number will now only be viewable to the owner of each profile, throwing the livelihoods of “influencers” into question.
Users will not not be able to decline the new feature, with there not set to be an option to opt in or out.
The photo-sharing app first trialled its controversial method to clamp down on users’ focus on numbers in Canada in May.
Australia will join an extension of the trial along with Japan, Ireland, Italy, Brazil, and New Zealand.
Reducing pressure to achieve Instagram likes
Instagram Australia’s Director of Policy Mia Garlick said the change was rolled out with the intention of reducing the pressure that often came with how many likes a post received.
“We hope this test will remove the pressure of how many likes a post will receive, so you can focus on sharing the things you love," she said in a statement.
"We are now rolling the test out to Australia so we can learn more about how this can benefit people's experiences on Instagram, and whether this change can help people focus less on likes and more on telling their story."
The company has not yet revealed if the removal of publicised likes was permanent, instead it would evaluate the trials and make a decision based on its feedback.
Ms Garlick said business accounts and those using the app to influence their large followings would still benefit from Instagram’s marketing tools.
“The really important part is the data is still there for influencer and business accounts, so they'll still be able to see their like count and they'll still have all their insights, data and all of their ad manager data,” she told 7NEWS.
She claimed the user experience for those making money through the app would remain the same, despite the momentous adjustment.
Users in Australia will receive a notification on their app stating it would be changing the way it saw likes.
“We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get. During this test, only you will be able to see the total number of likes on your posts,” the notice will state.
Facebook purchased Instagram for AUD$1.4billion(US$1billion) in 2012, just two years after it launched.
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