Following a report that says social media platforms in the U.K. will need to implement new rules aimed at protecting users in a younger demographic, Instagram is now testing an unreleased feature that hides the number of likes photos receive from people.

Instagram was found to be testing hiding like counts for photos, The Verge reported. The unreleased feature, discovered by code hunter Jane Manchun Wong, hides the number of likes a certain photo receives from users all over Instagram.

The feature doesn’t prevent people from liking a photo. Instead, it hides the number of likes from users other than the very person who posted the photo. Wong said the app simply “want[s] your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get.” Only the poster will be able to keep track of his post’s performance.

Varied Responses

Wong’s reveal has elicited a variety of responses from netizens. Most like the fact that like counts will be hidden, but some don’t.

Some, like software engineer Sol Jonas, like it. He said this “awesome feature” will help restore people’s appetites to explore the app. Entrepreneur and “Social Evangelist”@dakotta, also on the affirmative, said this is “a positive step in the right direction in taking responsibility for evolving social media thoughtfulness.”

Others on the negative end pointed out how Instagram influencers will be affected by the change.

Protecting the young

The news comes after The Independent reported how social media features that encourage users to spend more time online, such as Instagram and Facebook likes, as well as Snapchat streaks, could be banned for users in the U.K. under 18 years of age.

This rule, hailing from a code reported by the British Information Commissioner's Office, includes banning similar features on websites that are unable to accurately determine if their visitors are 18 years old and above. This code introduces 16 standards meant to protect children who use the internet.

The code, which will start undergoing its consultation process on Monday, suggests that privacy settings should be set to “high” by default. Data collection, it also says, should be kept to a minimum.

The Instagram logo is displayed on a smartphone in Paris on Dec. 20, 2012. LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images