Instagram is trialing the option to hide 'likes' on posts in Ireland only.

Insta users will be able to see how many ‘likes’ their own posts get. However they won't see those of other Instagram users’ posts. People can still see their own likes by tapping on the liker list.

They want to test whether people prefer a less competitive social media environment.

An Instagram spokesman said:

“We are testing this because we want followers to focus on the photos and videos shared, not how many likes they get.

“We don’t want Instagram to feel like a competition- we hope to learn whether this change can help people focus less on likes and more on telling their story.”

It's a good idea given Insta is one of many social media platforms associated with causing low self-esteem and anxiety due to idealised lives constructed on it.

For the trial, users of the platform will still see the number of comments that other users’ posts attract.

Tara Hopkins, head of public policy, EMEA at Instagram, said:

“We want Instagram to be a place where people feel comfortable expressing themselves. This includes helping people to focus on the photos and videos they share, not how many likes they get. We are now rolling the test out to more countries so we learn more from our global community and see how this can benefit people's experiences on Instagram.”

Instagram recently conducted a two month trial along similar lines in Canada. The trial has just ended bu the takeaways from it have not been released.