This week, Facebook will start publicly rolling out the option to hide ‘likes’ on posts across Facebook and Instagram.
The company has been testing this feature for years now to see if it might depressurize the user experience on Instagram. Often, users face anxiety and embarrassment around their posts if they didn’t receive enough ‘likes’ to be considered ‘popular.’
Users will now have the option to hide like counts on their posts, so others can’t see how many likes a post gets. This way, users can focus on the photos and videos being shared instead of how many likes posts get.
Users can also hide like counts on other people’s posts by visiting the new Posts section in Settings. This control applies to all the posts in their feed. They can choose to hide like counts before sharing a post and this setting can be turned on or off, even after the post goes live.
On Instagram, both content consumers and content producers can turn on or off ‘Like’ and ‘View’ counts on posts — which means you can choose to not see these metrics when scrolling through your own feed, and you can choose whether to allow likes to be viewed by others when you’re posting. These are configured as two different settings, which provide for more flexibility and control.
Meanwhile, on Facebook, users access the new setting from the Settings & Privacy area under News Feed Settings (or News Feed Preferences on desktop). From here, you’ll find an option to “hide number of reactions.” You can turn this setting off for both your own posts and for posts from others in News Feed, Groups, and Pages. The feature will be made available to both public and private profiles.
What you should know
The like count feature will be available on both Facebook and Instagram this week.
Instagram also has plans to build a version of its app for kids under the age of 13, just like Tiktok did. The company told TechCrunch that it might also include hiding likes by default — or perhaps adding a parental control option.