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Instagram hiding "like" counts in worldwide test

Instagram hiding "likes" on some posts

Instagram on Thursday moved to more broadly hide "like" tallies on posts, expanding a trial that had been under way in six countries across the Facebook-owned social media platform's global markets. 

The trial affects only a portion of Instagram customers, and for now most users will continue to see "likes." 

"Starting today, we're expanding our test of private like counts to the rest of the world," a Facebook spokesperson told CBS MoneyWatch via email, adding that "the feedback from early testing has been positive."

Instagram has been testing hiding "likes" for months in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Italy and New Zealand. The feature allows a user to see the total number of people who have "liked" their posts as well as the individuals' names, but it hides the number of likes from everyone else.

Kid influencers: Few rules, big money

Many have praised the move, saying that hiding "likes" downplays the competitive nature of social media. By contrast, others have expressed concern that shifting away from this approach could affect social influencers' ability to make money off their huge followings.

On that point, the Facebook spokesperson noted, "We are actively working on ways for creators to communicate value to their partners."

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