Instagram will let all users hide the like counts on their photos now, and can also hide those figures on photos shared by others if they so choose. However, these behaviors will not be turned on by default. Instead, users will have to visit their settings in order to enable them.
Previously, Instagram was testing the feature by pushing it onto random groups of users — including some who did not want any parts of it. I can appreciate that Instagram wanted to challenge the idea of likes and the potential impact they may have on one’s self esteem. It’s an area worth exploring, for sure. I also read complaints from influencer/marketing types who were furious that Instagram made it more difficult to judge a post’s performance. So there’s that to consider, too.
At any rate, if you’re someone who just wants to post and view photos without having any clue what the rest of the world thinks about them, you now have that option. Hopefully we get some stats in the future about how many people flip this switch. I’m very curious.