Instagram expands hiding the total number of ‘likes’ trial to six more countries to let people focus on sharing the things they love instead of how many likes they get.

“We want your friends to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get,” said the Facebook-owned social media app on Twitter.

“You can still see your own likes by tapping on the list of people who've liked it, but your friends will not be able to see how many likes your post has received.”

The feature covers the total number of ‘likes’ on both photos and videos on user feed and profiles.

However, engagement metrics for businesses and content creators on the app remains unaffected. They will still be able to access measurement tools.

The social media app launched the first trial in Canada in May and is now expanding the test to Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Japan and New Zealand.

"We hope this test will remove the pressure of how many likes a post will receive, so you can focus on sharing the things you love," Mia Garlick, Facebook Australia and New Zealand director of policy told BBC adding that the goal was to make the users feel less judged.

An update on whether or not the feature will be permanent is yet to be released.

In 2017, the Royal Society of Public Health reported Instagram and Snapchat as apps with the most negative effect on youth’s mental health and wellbeing.

Among the report’s recommendations is the introduction of a pop-up that appears as heavy usage warning when a person spends too much time on the app. Seven in 10 young individuals surveyed supported the recommendation.

In an effort to curb bullying on the platform due to high profile cases such as the suicide of a British teenager, Instagram is releasing an anti-bullying tool that will make bullies reconsider their actions.

Whenever a user is about to post anything offensive or comments similar to those that had been previously reported or flagged, the AI will ask, “Are you sure you want to post this?”

“This intervention gives people a chance to reflect and undo their comment and prevents the recipient from receiving the harmful comment notification,” said Adam Mosseri, Instagram head.

“From early tests of this feature, we have found that it encourages some people to undo their comment and share something less hurtful once they have had a chance to reflect.”

Social Media The Department of Homeland Security has announced that as of October 18, the government will increase the collection of data from foreign citizens when they enter the United States. Photo: Getty Images