Instagram is gaining four cool new features while testing killing the like count on photos with a small percentage of users in Canada as a way to combat bots that generate fake likes.

The social networking giant today kicked off its annual F8 developers conference with a keynote during which it unveiled a desktop Messenger app alongside a fast, agile, completely rebuilt Messenger for iOS rocking a host of new features like collaborative video watching.

Meanwhile, Instagram announced its own updates while TechCrunch reports that the Facebook-owned app is testing killing the like count on photos in Canada.

Let’s get started…

Killing the like count

Instagram is experimenting with the unthinkable, removing the like count from photos. For now, this is just a test and rather limited in scope—for the time being, they’re testing this with a small percentage of users in Canada.

Josh Constine, TechCrunch:

A post’s creator can still open the liker’s window to see the names of everyone who hearted their post, but they’d have to count them manually.

An Instagram spokesperson has confirmed the test to TechCrunch:

Later this week, we’re running a test in Canada that removes the total number of likes on photos and video views in the feed, permalink pages and profiles. We are testing this because we want your followers to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get.

People in the test will see a notice warning them of  “a change to how you see likes.”

Removing the like count from photos is my favorite Instagram test.

The change would refocus the service on self-expression instead of being a popularity contest, but what about influencers who rely on likes in order to make money on Instagram?

“We understand that this is important for many creators, and while this test is in exploratory stages, we are thinking through ways for them to communicate value to their brand partners,” an Instagram spokesperson told the publication.

Updated camera, new Create Mode

The Instagram camera is getting a revamp that will include an easy new way to share without a photo or video, aptly named Create Mode. The overhauled camera will make it simpler for everyone to use camera effects and interactive stickers.

The revamped camera with a carousel (left, center) and Create Mode (right).

I’ll be liking Create Mode a lot—I can’t count the number of times I wanted to post a quick thought on Instagram without having to use an image or video. With Create Mode, I’ll finally be able to create media-free posts with just text, questions, stickers, polls and more.

Introducing the donation sticker

The donation sticker is a new type of sticker designed to make it easy for Instagram users to raise money for charity and nonprofit organizations, with 100% of the money raised directly on the service going to the nonprofit of your choosing. Once your fundraiser is live, an upward swipe on your Story reveals the total amount raised thus far.

Anyone will be able to create a fundraiser by adding a donation sticker to their Story

“This will be available in the US now and we’re working to bring it to more countries,” the company acknowledged. For more information, visit Instagram’s Help Center.

Shopping from creators

Have you ever wondered what your favorite Instagram creators are wearing? And how many times have you wanted to buy it on the spot but have given up because you hate leaving Instagram? Well, soon you’ll be able to shop inspiring looks from creators with a tap.

“Today, creators tag the brands they are wearing, add details in the caption and respond to countless comments and direct messages,” the company wrote. Starting next week, people will be able to shop inspiring looks from the creators they love without leaving Instagram.

In other words, a creator will be able to sell to followers by directly linking to products in posts. “With the ability to tag exactly what they’re wearing, creators can get back to expressing themselves and sharing what’s on their mind, which will make their followers happy too.”

This feature will being rolling starting next week.

Making Instagram less toxic and hateful

Instagram’s head Adam Mosseri announced on stage at F8 that the team has been running some other tests designed to fight bullying on the platform.

Here’s how they’re planning to make the app a safer place for everyone:

  • Nudge: This feature will warn the user if they’re about to post a bullying comment.
  • Away Mode: The app will advise users to get a break from constant notifications.
  • Manage Interactions: Rather than block someone outright, you’ll be able to set limits on how others interact with you, like stopping certain people from commenting on your posts.

Should these new wellbeing features click with the small percentage of Canadian users, Instagram will probably roll them out to everyone.

How do you like these changes coming to Instagram?

Let us know by posting a comment down below.