Now hide like counts on Instagram and Facebook. After years of testing on both platforms, both have settled on an opt-in experience for hiding like counts. This will allow users to disable seeing them across all posts and an option to hide their own public like counts from others. After years of test, Instagram is enabling this feature and pressure from experts to make changes to its platform.
In a 2017 study by the Royal Society for Public Health UK, the service was ranked as the most detrimental to young people’s mental health and wellbeing. According to the experts removing like counts and buttons could help reduce social pressure and anxiety for some Facebook and Instagram users.
According to the Instagram spokesperson, “We tested hiding like counts to see if it might depressurize people’s experience on Instagram. “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.”
On both Facebook and Instagram now users will be able to toggle an option to hide all like counts on all posts in their feed. A separate option will let users hide their own like counts to others. On Instagram, per post basis, likes count could be hidden, so there is little more flexibility to allow people to focus on the content of posts rather than the like counts. In the next few weeks, Facebook will get these same per-post controls. The method to hide and unhide like count on the Facebook app remains unclear.
In September 2019, Facebook started testing hidden like counts, and this was done as an experiment to see if there is improvement in the users’ experience due to the change. In recent years Instagram has also been testing a variety of ways to hide like counts.
This feature has been welcomed by many users but others including some influencers worried it might take away from the social media experience.