Back in 2019, in an effort to reduce the pressure that surrounds the vanity metrics on Instagram, the ability to see how many likes that posts shared by yourself and others received was taken away. At the time, a statement from Instagram was:
We don't want Instagram to be such a competition. We want it to be a place where people spend more of their energy connecting with the people that they love and the things that they care about.
So they’re gone for good? Well, no.
Recent reports have suggested that Instagram are trialing giving users a new option of whether to hide the amount of likes from public view or not. This comes from feedback over the last 2 years, both for and against the like counter but more from the reactions caused by Instagram accidentally taking the ability to view likes completely for a number of users due to a bug.
Bringing back the ability to count likes will always have arguments for and against it, so Instagram will be letting the users choose for themselves. Whether it is a good idea or not will only be seen when the data of the trial is analyzed.