Instagram can take quite the toll on the mental health of its users, particularly the young ones. The struggle to keep up with the highlight reels of your friends and internet celebrities can be exhausting, after all. But Instagram and its owner, Facebook, are working to ameliorate some of this stress by hiding how many likes your photos get from other users -- a move the photo-sharing site's boss, , hinted at last month.
Following, Instagram is testing the approach with users in Australia. Under the new system, you can see how many likes your photos get, but your followers won't be able to. Similarly, you can't see how many likes other peoples' photos get.
"We want Instagram to be a place where people feel comfortable expressing themselves," said Mia Garlick, Facebook Australia and New Zealand's head of policy. "We hope this test will remove the pressure of how many likes a post will receive, so you can focus on sharing the things you love."
On Thursday, Instagram said in a tweet that it's extending the test to Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Japan and New Zealand.
A 2017 UK study found that out of five major social networks, Instagram was the most harmful to young people's mental health. Snapchat followed, with Facebook third, Twitter fourth and YouTube fifth. In addition to toying with hiding likes, Instagram is also working to remove bullying from the platform.
Instagram announced in April during Facebook's F8 developer conference it was experimenting with new features to combat bullying. Earlier in July that lets users know if they're about to post an offensive comment. When a user types out "You are so ugly and stupid," for example, a user will get a notification that states "Are you sure you want to post this?"
First published on July 17 at 6:49 p.m. PT.
Updated on July 19 at 5:19 a.m. PT: Notes extension of test to six more countries.