Newsrooms & Private Likes on Instagram

Since Instagram announced that they would begin testing what they call “private like counts” for a limited number of users worldwide, we’ve been scouring local news accounts on Instagram and haven’t seen a single one with hidden likes – yet! Instagram and Facebook haven’t made it clear whether private likes will only be restricted to personal accounts, or if they will appear for business accounts as well.

So far, the test seems to be limited to a very small number of users. When the post appears on Instagram, it will show “Liked by others” instead of a specific count of Likes.

The private like count test started in Canada in April, then rolled out over the summer for a small number of users in Ireland, Italy, Japan, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand. Since then, the test has rolled out to some users worldwide, according to Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri.

While many users are referring to the change as “hiding likes,” the account owner who posted the content will still be able to see the number of total likes that a post receives. In a follow-up comment, Mosseri said that Instagram would determine whether or not the test was successful based on user surveys to track sentiment around the feature.

Have you spotted an account that’s showing a hidden like count? We’re keeping an eye on this feature and what it may mean for newsrooms if and when private like counts roll out more widely.