Canada Markets close in 1 hr 41 mins

Instagram director Eva Chen reveals why it's experimenting with hiding 'likes'

Zack Guzman
Senior Writer

Facebook (FB) and Instagram rattled their power users earlier this year when the company announced it would begin testing hiding the amount of likes a user’s post receives in international markets.

This week, Instagram is bringing that like-hiding experiment to the U.S. for select users.

After first testing hidden likes with a select number of Instagram users in Canada this spring, the feature was expanded for testing in six other countries this summer. Facebook joined in on testing the same thing in Australia last month. So far, the tests seem to be yielding promising results, according to Instagram Director of Fashion Partnerships Eva Chen, who has also been a guinea pig for the company.

“I definitely feel like I don't really check the number of likes an image gets anymore, because it's actually two steps to find the number of likes,” she said at Yahoo Finance’s All Markets Summit: Generational Opportunities last month. “The thinking behind hiding [likes] or making it not the first thing we see is really just to free up expression and creativity.”

Instagram director of fashion partnerships Eva Chen participates in the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit at Union West on Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

The change would seem warranted — especially considering Chen also said “overthinking” when it comes to posting can be the death of Instagram for many of its users and brand partners advertising on the platform. That same belief was part of Instagram’s big push to roll out Instagram Stories, its competitor to Snap’s posts that disappear after 24 hours.

“I just kind of feel like it's closer to Stories, where you kind of post, and you're like, ‘Whatever, it's out there in the ether.’ And I definitely feel more liberated to post,” she said.

An independent survey from influencer consulting firm Paid this summer yielded mix reviews of Instagrams moves, however. In a survey of nearly 200 Canadian creators, 35% of users exposed to the test voiced displeasure on the feature compared to 34% of users who enjoyed it. Another 31% remained undecided.

Yet, as Chen points out, the impacts of hiding likes might not be felt equally among all Instagram users.

“Put yourself in the shoes of a 15-year-old who spent like an hour thinking about what she wanted to post, and then when she doesn't get the number of likes, she might take it down, or feel self-conscious,” she said. “Instagram really wants to be the safest platform, and friendliest platform, and kindest platform out there and this is just one step that we're testing to see what the response is. And so far it's, been very positive.”

Watch the complete interview with Instagram’s Eva Chen and Facebook Chief Creative Officer Mark Darcy here:

This story was first published on October 17 and has been updated to reflect Instagram’s plans to test hiding likes in the U.S.

Zack Guzman is the host of YFi PM as well as a senior writer and on-air reporter covering entrepreneurship, cannabis, startups, and breaking news at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @zGuz.

Read the latest financial and business news from Yahoo Finance

Read more:

Andrew Yang's 257% fundraising surge blows away all other Democratic candidates

Illinois becomes the latest state to legalize marijuana, these states may follow

The Farm Bill could end the multimillion dollar industry of cockfighting

Follow Yahoo Finance on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Flipboard, SmartNews, LinkedIn, YouTube, and reddit.

  • Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders get a message from this private equity titan
    Finance
    Yahoo Finance

    Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders get a message from this private equity titan

    Bain Capital co-chairman Steve Pagliuca tries to set the record straight on the private equity industry amid frequent attacks by two Democratic presidential hopefuls.

  • Here's what you need to know about the coronavirus outbreak
    Finance
    Yahoo Finance

    Here's what you need to know about the coronavirus outbreak

    The coronavirus death toll has surpassed 80, and more than 2,700 cases have been confirmed.

  • Stocks Tumble Around the World on Virus Jitters: Markets Wrap
    Finance
    Bloomberg

    Stocks Tumble Around the World on Virus Jitters: Markets Wrap

    (Bloomberg) -- Stocks slumped and bonds rallied as concern over the impact of a deadly virus that originated in China rattled global markets.The S&P 500 Index sank the most in almost four months while the Dow Jones Industrial Average briefly erased its 2020 advance. Chipmakers, cruise lines and casino

  • Riots and Slow Growth Can’t Stop Latin America’s Bond Boom
    Finance
    Bloomberg

    Riots and Slow Growth Can’t Stop Latin America’s Bond Boom

    (Bloomberg) -- Investors are snapping up a wave of bond sales in a region that was racked by social unrest and mired in anemic economic growth.Petroleos Mexicanos, the Dominican Republic and Chile led borrowers in selling more than $36.6 billion from Jan. 1 to 27, poised for the largest amount in any

  • Finance
    The Canadian Press

    Stocks tumble...Tourism companies hit hard...Fed feeling satisfied

    NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are tumbling following a sell-off in markets in Europe and Japan after China announced a sharp rise in cases of a new virus that threatens to crimp global economic growth. The major U.S. indexes gave up a significant amount of their gains for January and bond yields moved

  • Finance
    Bloomberg

    An Insider-Trading Law With Clarity Sought by Bharara Panel

    (Bloomberg) -- A panel led by former federal prosecutor Preet Bharara urged Congress to clarify the law surrounding insider trading, to make it less confusing for traders, judges and regulators.The biggest problem is the absence of a statute that specifically criminalizes insider trading, the panel said

  • Finance
    Bloomberg

    New Jersey Sets Goal to Cut Natural Gas Use 80% by 2050

    (Bloomberg) -- New Jersey’s plan to eliminate man-made carbon emissions relies on big reductions in natural gas use in homes and businesses.“Gas public utilities must assess existing pipeline capacity and plan for a gradual reduction in system use,” according to a plan released Monday by Governor Phil

  • Today Is More Evidence for Bitcoin’s Claim to Being a Safe Haven
    Finance
    Bloomberg

    Today Is More Evidence for Bitcoin’s Claim to Being a Safe Haven

    (Bloomberg) -- Bitcoin’s claim for being digital gold appears to have another piece of evidence in its corner.In a day where global stocks plunged on concerns over the impact of the deadly coronavirus, the largest cryptocurrency gained as much as 3.5% while gold rose as much as 1.1%.Of course one day

  • Irish leader says EU to have stronger hand in UK trade talks
    Finance
    The Canadian Press

    Irish leader says EU to have stronger hand in UK trade talks

    LONDON — Ireland’s prime minister warned Britain on Monday that Brexit is far from finished -- and the European Union will have the stronger hand in upcoming negotiations on future relations between the two sides.Leo Varadkar said “we're only at halftime on Brexit,” as the bloc’s chief Brexit negotiator

  • Dumping probe in India expected to add to Canadian newsprint industry woes
    Finance
    The Canadian Press

    Dumping probe in India expected to add to Canadian newsprint industry woes

    CALGARY — A financial analyst says the long-struggling Canadian newsprint industry has even tougher times ahead given recent events including a potential anti-dumping investigation in India.RBC Dominion Securities analyst Paul Quinn says the application by the Indian newsprint industry to that country

  • Stock market news live: Stocks slump as coronavirus death toll rises
    Finance
    Yahoo Finance

    Stock market news live: Stocks slump as coronavirus death toll rises

    Headlines moving the stock market in real time.

  • Finance
    Bloomberg

    Venezuela Weighs Privatizing Oil as It Faces Economic Freefall

    (Bloomberg) -- Facing economic collapse and painful sanctions, the socialist government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has proposed giving majority shares and control of its oil industry to big international corporations, a move that would forsake decades of state monopoly.Maduro’s representatives

  • Prince Andrew called unco-operative in Jeffrey Epstein probe
    Finance
    The Canadian Press

    Prince Andrew called unco-operative in Jeffrey Epstein probe

    NEW YORK — Britain's Prince Andrew has provided “zero co-operation” to the American investigators who want to interview him as part of their sex trafficking probe into Jeffrey Epstein, a U.S. prosecutor said Monday.Speaking at a news conference outside Epstein's New York mansion, U.S. Attorney

  • Traders May Hate Treasuries at 1.6%, But What Else Is There?
    Finance
    Bloomberg

    Traders May Hate Treasuries at 1.6%, But What Else Is There?

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- So far, 2020 has proved to be a tricky year for Wall Street bond strategists. First, they had to handicap the likelihood that a conflict between the U.S. and Iran would escalate into something truly terrible. Now they are grappling with the impact of the coronavirus that has left

  • Finance
    The Canadian Press

    Ex-broker charged with fraud blames sloppy paperwork

    SCRANTON, Pa. — A former Pennsylvania financial planner who was ordered to pay millions of dollars in damages to customers he allegedly tricked into high-risk investments took the stand at his criminal fraud trial Monday and blamed some of his woes on sloppy paperwork and incompetent or underhanded brokerage

  • Buenos Aires Sweetens Deal for 2021 Creditors Ahead of Deadline
    Finance
    Bloomberg

    Buenos Aires Sweetens Deal for 2021 Creditors Ahead of Deadline

    (Bloomberg) -- The Province of Buenos Aires improved the terms it’s offering bondholders if they agree to accept delayed payments, an about-face from the cash-strapped government after its first overture failed to attract sufficient support.In exchange for pushing back the deadline on a $250 million

  • Finance
    Bloomberg

    Wall Street Venture-Fund Curbs to Be Eased in Volcker Revamp

    (Bloomberg) -- Wall Street banks would face much looser restrictions on investing in venture-capital funds under regulators’ latest rollback of the Volcker Rule, according to three people familiar with the matter.Making it easier for lenders to take stakes in venture funds is among changes that the Federal

  • Flight to Safety Pounds Commodity Markets Rattled by Virus Fears
    Finance
    Bloomberg

    Flight to Safety Pounds Commodity Markets Rattled by Virus Fears

    (Bloomberg) -- Commodity investors are taking flight as fears deepen that the spread of coronavirus could curtail China’s demand of everything from crude oil to soybeans.Prices are slumping as the death toll rises, prompting China to extend its Lunar New Year holiday to contain the infection whose spread

  • Fujimoris Lose Support in Peruvian Vote to Renew Congress
    Finance
    Bloomberg

    Fujimoris Lose Support in Peruvian Vote to Renew Congress

    (Bloomberg) -- The Peruvian party dominated by the opposition Fujimori family looks set to lose support in congressional elections, boosting the government’s ability to pass economic and judicial reforms.A quick count of voting sheets by polling company Ipsos Peru confirmed exit polls showing the country

  • Britain's EU Journey: When Brexit won the battle of Europe
    Finance
    The Canadian Press

    Britain's EU Journey: When Brexit won the battle of Europe

    LONDON — Britain officially leaves the European Union on Friday after a debilitating political period that has bitterly divided the nation since the 2016 Brexit referendum.Difficult negotiations setting out the new relationship between Britain and its European neighbours will continue throughout 2020

  • Virus Fallout Hits Canada Stocks After Second Confirmed Case
    Finance
    Bloomberg

    Virus Fallout Hits Canada Stocks After Second Confirmed Case

    (Bloomberg) -- Investor anxiety that’s swept the globe over the coronavirus extended to Canadian stocks and the loonie after a second person in Toronto tested positive for the illness.Volatility on the S&P/TSX Composite Index spiked as stocks posted their biggest drop since October, joining a world-wide

  • Finance
    Bloomberg

    Sonos Should Give Up Hardware-Only Business Model

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- How long should a manufacturer be responsible for maintaining support for legacy products? Consumer devices have increasingly become smart and connected, only to later be abandoned by the manufacturer. Smart suitcases have turned dumb, talking toys gone mute, and wireless security

  • Finance
    The Canadian Press

    UK faces choice on Huawei with global implications

    LONDON — Britain faces a crucial choice on Tuesday over whether to allow China's Huawei Technologies to build its next-generation wireless networks.The decision has implications for the country's diplomatic relations with the United States, which is pushing allies to shun the Chinese company

  • Congress might finally address the 'imminent danger' facing Social Security
    Finance
    Yahoo Finance

    Congress might finally address the 'imminent danger' facing Social Security

    Even as Washington focuses on impeachment hearings and a divisive election year after that, there remains those who hope that lawmakers can, you know, make new laws in 2020. One such effort is known as the TRUST Act

  • World’s Pile of Negative Debt Surges by the Most Since 2016
    Finance
    Bloomberg

    World’s Pile of Negative Debt Surges by the Most Since 2016

    (Bloomberg) -- The global rush for safer assets has fueled a huge jump in the world’s stockpile of negative-yielding bonds, snapping months of decline in the value of subzero debt.The pool of securities with a yield below zero surged by $1.16 trillion last week, the largest weekly increase since at least