Instagram is now testing hiding likes worldwide

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(CNN) — Some Instagram users around the world will have to kiss their likes goodbye.

On Thursday, Instagram announced it is now expanding its months-long test to hide like counts to the rest of the world, inching the company closer to formally rolling out a core change to the way users engage with the photo-sharing service.

Instagram had already been testing removing likes in several countries, including Australia, Brazil and Canada. Last week, the company said likes would be hidden for some US users, too.

Those users who are part of the test will no longer see the total number of likes and views on photos and videos in the feed and on profile pages. However, they will still be able to see how many likes their own posts received.

"While the feedback from early testing has been positive, this is a fundamental change to Instagram, and so we're continuing our test to learn more from our global community," a spokesperson for Facebook, which owns Instagram, said in a statement.

Users can still like content by double tapping on a photo or video, or by pressing the "heart" below a post, but no total for the number of likes will appear.

So when an account you follow has liked someone else's photo, it will say "[name of Instagram account] and others" under the post where likes would typically appear. Users can then click to see only a list of accounts that have liked the post.

A number of users CNN Business spoke with expressed relief about the move. But the changes could create challenges for social media influencers who make a living online, and force them to adapt some of their strategies.

"We understand that the number of likes is an important metric for many creators, and while this test is in exploratory stages, we are thinking through ways for creators to communicate value to their partners," a Facebook spokesperson previously told CNN Business.

It remains to be seen if Instagram will hide likes permanently.