Last month, the rumor that Instagram would be getting rid likes for good finally became a reality. Likes and comment counts are starting to be hidden from posts on the Facebook-owned photo-sharing platform—a move that's meant to encourage more regular people to post to their feeds. But whether they're longtime users who are averse to change or influencers who want to keep track of the competition, many people are unhappy with the update.
Instagram may have removed likes from your feed, but as Lifehacker reports, there is a way to restore them. It involves using a third-party plug-in to work around the app's new design. To quantify how popular the content in your Instagram feed is, add The Return of the Likes to your Google Chrome browser. The extension displays like and comment counts as orange numbers above the top right corner of each picture. And if you want to creep on the like tallies of a user's entire post history, the plug-in makes that easy as well. On an individual user's account, like and comment numbers are displayed in yellow beneath each image.
The Return of the Likes isn't a perfect solution to Instagram's change. Because it's a Chrome extension, it only works when you're viewing Instagram on a web browser. When you're scrolling on your phone, you'll have to settle for the new version of the app—though you can always look up the metrics of specific posts on your computer later.
“We don’t want Instagram to feel like a competition,” Instagram head Adam Mosseri said at Facebook’s annual software developer conference earlier this year.
From a business point of view, that could be a plus if more people feel comfortable posting to their feeds without the threat of judgment. But the removal of likes could have benefits for users as well: Research has shown that smartphone overuse can be bad for mental health, and making it harder for users to compare themselves to others may lessen those effects for some.
If you still feel that having likes visible on Instagram improves your social media experience, you can download The Return of the Likes here.