Instagram Will Begin Hiding Like Counts From Users in the U.S.

The photo-sharing site wants to prioritize conversations over popularity contests.
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Kim Kardashian West's name is, in some ways, synonymous with Instagram. It helped make her as much as anything else she's done—the infamous sex tape, Keeping Up With the Kardashians, marrying Kanye West—and Instagram is about to remove a feature that was key to jacking her social popularity into the stratosphere: Like counts. 

For American users, anyway. That's right, the number tallying the millions of clicks Kardashian receives daily will soon disappear. She or anyone who handles social media for her will still know how many people loved her latest selfie, but the public will not.

Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri announced the change on November 8 at Wired25, a San Francisco event sponsored by the tech magazine. 

Mosseri said it was about putting users' needs before anything else. "It means we’re going to put a 15-year-old kid’s interests before a public speaker’s interest," he said. 

"When we look at the world of public content," Mosseri continued, "we’re going to put people in that world before organizations and corporations."

The platform will take other measures as well, reports Wired:

Although Mosseri was careful to note that “bullying predates Instagram" and the internet, he did mention further measures that the platform is taking to improve the mental and emotional health of its users. The company is working with therapists and engineers to develop other tools to prevent and de-escalate bullying on the platform, such as figuring out a way to make users take a break when they need it.

As with many social media changes, some will take issue. Cardi B, who has also benefitted from a popular Instagram feed, posted a video addressing the issue. She thinks Instagram might be missing the point. 

She said in part that if "anything is affecting Instagram right now, it's the way the comments have been done or have been changing these past few years." 

"I feel people been sayin' the most weirdest shit," Cardi continued, "been starting the craziest arguments, been starting to race bait ... because they want to get to the top, they want to get the most reactions. And that's what I feel: The comments affect more than the likes."

There's no doubt that huge names like the Kardashians and Cardi B have some kind of influence and could perhaps affect Instagram's next move, but for now, prepare to no longer judge an Instagram pic's quality by its numbers, but its quality.