Instagram and Facebook have been experimenting with letting users hide their public like counts for years. Now, the option is being rolled out to everyone. It’s hoped that the move will ease the pressure on those people, particularly younger users, who equate social media popularity with self-worth.
Facebook first started testing how Instagram users would respond to hiding the like counts back in 2019. Covid-19 made the experiment less of a priority last year when the social media service focused more on features that supported people, but it returned in April when both FB and Insta started giving some people the choice of concealing their likes rather than removing them completely.
Facebook yesterday said that it was giving all Instagram users the option to hide like counts on all posts in their feed, though it’s still possible to see a list of everyone who liked another’s post by clicking on “others.”
“You can hide like counts on others’ posts by visiting the new Posts section in Settings. This control applies to all the posts in your feed,” the post explains.
Users can hide counts on their own posts so others can’t see how many likes have been received, and they can toggle the setting on or off even after one goes live.
The same options will be coming to Facebook in the next few weeks.
“What we heard from people and experts was that not seeing like counts was beneficial for some and annoying to others, particularly because people use like counts to get a sense of what’s trending or popular, so we’re giving you the choice,” Facebook said.