During an interview on WIRED25 just two hours ago, Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri announced that the Facebook-owned photo sharing app will begin testing the "likes" in the US next week.
Instagram's experiment with hiding likes began in May, when the company suddenly began testing the removal of the feature for users in Canada. Then, in mid-July, the test expanded to include six more countries, leading to some less-than-favorable responses from influencers whose livelihoods partly rely on public-like bills.
Now, according to Mosseri's statements on stage, Instagram will begin rolling out this "test" to US users as early as next week. You can see the announcement for yourself in the video below, which WIRED tweeted shortly after it happened on stage:
SE: Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri announces that the platform will start hiding likes for American audiences starting next week. It's the latest step in Instagram's quest to become the safest place on the Internet. https://t.co/BGkMG57rdk # WIRED25 pic.twitter.com/WNTyAPVhaD
̵1; WIRED (@WIRED) November 9, 2019
As Mosseri explains in the video – and Instagram has explained in previous announcements – you can still see your own likes by tapping the list of people who liked some particular photo, but no one else will be able to see how many likes your photo has received.  Mosseri was also careful to note that the test will not be rolled out to the entire United States at once, but it seems that Instagram is less of a "test" than it is slowly rolling out this controversial feature.
The party line is to hide from the public that bills will focus on the images, "not how many they like", and help with some of the negative effects on mental health that the social network has been accused of. Whether that's the whole incentive is debated, but whether you like it or not, this feature will come to the United States … and it will be soon.
To see the entire interview and find out more about Instagram's ethos and where things are headed, check out WIRED coverage of the announcement here.