Although the test was previously announced by Instagram, the social media platform officially rolled out its "hidden likes" feature in Ireland today.

From now on, every post on the platform will hide the amount of likes it has received, instead giving the name of a mutual who has liked the post, followed by "and others". The move, according to Instagram developers, is intended to focus users on the post itself rather than the number of likes it's received.

The move has been widely condemned by influencers, who believe Instagram removing the feature will adversely impact their ability to earn money from brands. However, the likelihood is that influencers and other so-called "power users" will simply move on from likes to another form of social validation, either through comments or shares on posts.

A 2017 report by the Royal Society for Public Health found that while Instagram gave the appearance of a positive influence on people's lives, the social media platform was found to have negative impacts on body image for young women, as well as adversely impacting sleep patterns, and emotional health and well-being.

It's not yet known how long Instagram will hide likes in Ireland, or if the feature will be made permanent once tests have concluded, however Instagram have indicated that testing is a regular part of their process and that findings from the test will inform future updates.