"The idea is to try to depressurize Instagram, make it less of a competition", said Mosseri, who made the announcement at the Wired25 conference in San Francisco. It's a test that the Facebook-owned platform has already rolled out to seven countries: Canada, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand. The U.S.is one of Instagram's largest markets with more than 106 million users, according to data analyst EMarketer.
Posting on Instagram can come with a rush of validation when likes from friends and strangers come pouring in.
Facebook in September confirmed it is dabbling with no longer making a public display of how many "likes" are racked up by posts.
"We have to see how it affects how people feel about the platform", said Mosseri, "I've been spending a lot of time on this personally". He added that Instagram doesn't have any scientific proof that hiding likes will improve mental health.
"When you remove engagement indicators, people engage less", Beykpour said while briefing journalists at Twitter headquarters in San Francisco earlier this year. The company has tried for years to combat the competitive trend by promoting good role models via posts on its instagram account, hoping to reflect the parts of the app that are about creativity and art as opposed to self-promotion.
"It becomes about how you're seen and how you're taken in", she said.