Facebook and Instagram are finally giving users the option to hide the likes on their posts. https://3166b0ce0fd183a6e46e14bdcbdfb086.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
The social networks have been testing the feature and hinting at its broader availability for years, but announced in a blog post on Wednesday that they are finally rolling out the optional feature to everyone.
“We tested hiding like counts to see if it might depressurize people’s experience on Instagram.” Instagram wrote in its blog post announcing the feature. “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 for what’s trending or popular, so we’re giving you the choice.”
Users will be able to hide the likes from themselves and have the option to hide the like counts so others can’t see them, as well. Instead of showing a number of likes, users will just see “username and others” when people like their posts.
Instagram initially announced in 2019 it would begin testing the feature with some users and it got mixed reactions, since many attribute the number of likes to popularity or self-worth. Influencers need the likes for their brand partnerships and engagement, too. Instagram, then, has found a middle ground by allowing users to decide for themselves how they want to experience the platform.
Instagram has been introducing more features over the past year that prioritize the user experience, and make users feel more comfortable and safe using the platform. Late last year, Instagram introduced new anti-bullying features, including an expanded warning that appears when users create comments that could be deemed offensive and a system that automatically hides comments similar to those that have been reported as offensive in the past.