Instagram is testing a new video viewing option which would allow users to watch video content on the platform with a co-viewer, while also seeing them on the screen, watching their reactions - all in real-time. Additionally, as a part of Instagram Updates 2019, the photo-sharing app released a number of other updates...
You can see & hear your co-viewer and yourself in minimized windows below the video you're watching. You would also have an option to use face filters and other visual tools. This feature being tested is similar to Facebook's Watch Party.
Additionally, the platform is testing an unreleased feature that would publicly hide the count of likes on your post, only allowing you to see the number of likes your post has received.
Jane Manchun Wong, Reverse Engineer mentioned the app states, "We want your follower to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get". Although in a statement made to Verge Instagram said, “We’re not testing this at the moment, but exploring ways to reduce pressure on Instagram is something we’re always thinking about.”
If the feature is publicly released, it would be a huge change as to how people use the platform and perceive it. In the recent years, since the influencer uprising, feeds have been a race for likes. And, the more likes the post gets, the more superior it is, has been a common perception.
The feature would change that interpretation and would probably also disrupt the ability of influencers to promote on the platform.
Update: Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, said the change is to minimize the stress of posting online, about fixating on how many likes a post draws. “We want people to worry a little bit less about how many likes they’re getting on Instagram and spend a bit more time connecting with the people that they care about,” he said during Facebook’s annual developer conference, #F8.
At the Conference, Instagram announced that in a test run done in Canada, it is testing a new feature called as “private like counts” which publicly hides the number of likes on a photo or video.