Instagram is testing a new feature in the United States this week that could be its most controversial yet: hiding the number of “likes” on posts. The new feature, announced by Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri on Friday, has led to a strong backlash, especially from influencers and celebrities. Heads up! We've been testing making likes private on Instagram in a number of countries this year. We're expanding those tests to include a small portion of people in the US next week. Looking forward to the feedback! — Adam Mosseri (@mosseri) November 9, 2019 The feature has been piloted in seven countries including Australia, Ireland and Canada in recent months. When it was rolled out there, influencers complained that hiding likes would give them less leverage over brand deals and sponsored content. Now, American celebrities are calling out the app for experimenting with removing likes, with some threatening to stop posting to Instagram. Others joked on Twitter about the proposed changes. 3 reasons why millennials love Instagramable Lisbon But some, including Kim Kardashian , have heralded Instagram’s decision as a boon to users’ mental health. “We’re testing this because we want Instagram to be a place where people feel comfortable expressing themselves. This includes helping people to focus on the photos and videos they share, not how many likes they get,” a spokesperson for Facebook, which owns Instagram, said. Here’s what influencers and celebrities are saying about the new feature that hides likes on Instagram. Nicki Minaj threatened to stop posting on Instagram if the feature were to take effect. I’m not posting on IG after this week cuz they removing the likes. Hmmmm what should I get into now? Think of all the time I’ll have with my new life — Mrs. Petty (@NICKIMINAJ) November 9, 2019 Minaj went on to speculate that Instagram was hiding likes to manipulate what posts users saw in their feed, regardless of how much engagement posts were getting. And who do you think is controlling those numbers? so that influencers can be out here “influencing” ppl to LIKE all the new stuff they bout to do? They gotta get y’all on board to spread the word. Just like how YouTube can take away or add a million views @ any given moment https://t.co/7Bqz0QbRvI — Mrs. Petty (@NICKIMINAJ) November 10, 2019 Minaj apparently referred to the well-documented phenomenon of YouTube view counts fluctuating after videos are posted, which can happen when YouTube determines views come from bots or other fraudulent sources. 10 Instagram travel couples’ favourite holiday destinations The rapper Juicy J predicted a backlash against the change, tweeting that he expected people to leave Instagram and go “back to real life”. Instagram is getting rid of the “likes” time to go back to real life niggaz finna spazz — juicy j (@therealjuicyj) November 9, 2019 Cardi B took to Instagram to protest the feature, arguing that removing likes wouldn’t make Instagram any less toxic because “the comments affect more than the likes”. Will G-Dragon rejoin BigBang after completing military service? View this post on Instagram This is just my opinion....I mean what makes you feel more insecure getting no likes or people constantly giving opinions about you ,your life and topics?what you think IG should do ? A post shared by Iamcardib (@iamcardib) on Nov 9, 2019 at 5:08pm PST The rapper Rico Nasty said the decision to hide likes would “kill Instagram”. Damn they really gonna kill Instagram how they did MySpace .... what a time y’all see y’all on the new app — TACOBELLA (@Rico_nastyy) November 10, 2019 But some people, including Kim Kardashian West, view the decision to hide likes as a good thing. Kim Kardashian and Kanye West embody America’s fast food culture “As far as mental health, I mean it’s something that taking the likes away and taking that aspect away from it would be really beneficial for people,” Kardashian West said during The New York Times’ DealBook conference last week. Sperm requests and 20-hour weeks: how cats can get famous on Instagram Tracee Ellis Ross also voiced support for removing likes, saying the like count had “adverse effects”. “It creates a culture that isn’t helpful for well-being and isn’t fruitful for creative energy,” she said. Ross made the statement last week during a panel discussion with Mosseri facilitated by Wired . Some influencers have argued that the number of likes on a post is irrelevant compared with other metrics like follower counts and impressions. Karen Civil, a social-media strategist, made the case that influencers shouldn’t pay too much attention to how many likes their posts got. What sounds more impressive as a business: I paid for an ad and the post has a reach of 10k followers and was shared 500 times and lead to 320 clicks on the link in the influencer bio Or: I paid for an ad and it got 9,000 likes. #CivilChat — Karen Civil (@KarenCivil) November 9, 2019 Want more stories like this? Sign up here . Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter . This article originally appeared on Business Insider .