Facebook and Instagram will soon let users hide like counts on their posts. In an announcement, Facebook said the option is meant to alleviate some of the pressure users may feel when posting on the platforms.
Research has suggested that focusing too heavily on receiving validation in the form of likes and engagement can take a toll on users’ mental health. Instagram already started testing hiding likes back in 2019, and now Facebook users will get the option as well.
Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, said it initially started testing the ability to hide like counts “to see if it might depressurize people’s experience on Instagram.” The results were mixed.
"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," the company said in its blog post.
To appease both groups of users, Instagram and Facebook are making it optional to hide like counts. Those who opt to hide like and view counts will be able to hide them on their own posts and the posts they see.
Instagram users can choose to hide likes by visiting a new Posts section in Settings. Facebook users can access the new setting from the “Settings & Privacy” area under News Feed Settings. From there, users will be able to toggle an option to “Hide number of reactions”.