When Instagram’s iconic “likes” vanished out of nowhere, social media went into a frenzy—but luckily, the company quickly replied with an explanation. Following the online debate that caused the social media giant to trend, Instagram clarified that the controversy was caused by an apparent glitch.
Every social media site has a signature feature, and for Instagram, that feature is “likes,” so when it appeared that the feature was going away for good, fans went into panic mode. According to Instagram, a bug is to blame for “likes” disappearing from user feeds, which they intend to patch as soon as possible.
A spokesperson for Facebook (the other social media corporation that owns Instagram) released the following statement:
“We’ve been testing a new experience to hide likes on Feed posts. We unintentionally added more people to the test today, which was a bug — we’re fixing this issue and restoring like counts to those people as soon as possible.” However, this isn’t the first time Instagram has publicly confirmed that it will be performing experiments to see whether the “like” feature can be eliminated completely or whether the way it is actually used can be modified.
The corporation tweeted the following message in November 2019 about checking the absence of “likes”:
“We’re expanding our test of private like counts globally. If you’re in the test, you’ll no longer see the total number of likes and views on photos and videos posted to Feed unless they’re your own.
While the feedback from early testing in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Japan, and New Zealand has been positive, this is a fundamental change to Instagram, and so we’re continuing our test to learn more from our global community.
In addition, we understand that like counts are important for many creators, and we are actively thinking through ways for creators to communicate value to their partners.”
As of now, it’s unclear what Instagram’s next step will be surrounding the permanent or limited removal of “likes.”