After a series of tests on various ways of hiding likes, it has now been announced that users on Instagram and Facebook will have the option to hide their public like counts.
Facebook tested hiding likes to see if it might depressurize people’s experience on Instagram. What the platform 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.
Users would now have the option to hide like counts on all posts in the feed. They’ll also have the option to hide like counts on their own posts, so others can’t see how many likes the posts get. This way, if a user likes, they can focus on the photos and videos being shared, instead of how many likes posts get.
Like counts can be hidden on others’ posts by visiting the new Posts section in Settings. This control applies to all the posts in the feed. Users can also choose to hide like counts before sharing a post. They can turn this setting on or off, even after it goes live. In the next few weeks, users will see both of these controls come to Facebook.
Facebook and Instagram have also been working with third-party experts to better understand how to shape a better experience on Instagram. The companies are funding external research about people’s experiences on Instagram, and how they can improve the policies and products. They’re currently requesting research proposals from global academics and non-profits