Facebook and Instagram will now let you hide likes

·3-min read
Photo credit: Deagreez - Getty Images
Photo credit: Deagreez - Getty Images

It's a tale as old as time (well, as old as 2010 - the year that Instagram launched): you pull your phone out for a quick social media scroll, end up getting sucked into a comparison vortex and by the time you've finished, feel a whole lot less enthusiastic about your own posts/life. For some, it can even lead to displaying signs of low mood, stress or anxiety in their day to day, too. Sounds familiar?

If yes, you're far from alone - and it's one of the reasons that Instagram is rolling out a shiny new feature today, that allows users to hide the number of likes that appear on their feed (or their own posts). That way, there can be no comparing of numbers and hopefully, the app will become an easier place to spend time for some users who on occasion, find it tough. The update will also appear on Facebook too.

In full, this new feature allows users to:

  • Hide like counts on all posts in their feed

  • Hide like counts on their own posts, so others can’t see how many likes their posts get

  • Hide like counts on others’ posts

  • Choose to hide like counts before sharing a post. People can turn this setting on or off, even after the post goes live

Photo credit: Instagram
Photo credit: Instagram

When announcing the news, Instagram told Cosmopolitan that these new options were inspired by a need to offer a more empowering and positive experience for all online: "What one person wants from their Instagram and Facebook experience is different from the next, and people’s needs are changing. We’ve been working closely with third-party experts to better understand how to empower people, build self-awareness and shape a more positive experience on Instagram."

They added that plenty of research was conducted beforehand, to test if hiding like counts "might depressurize people’s experience on Instagram", and found that for many, removing likes was a welcome change. However, for others, it was "annoying" as people use like counts "to get a sense for what’s trending or popular" – hence it being an individual choice.

How do you hide likes on Instagram and Facebook?

Well, it's all pretty straightforward by the sounds of it. "You can hide like counts on others’ posts by visiting the new Posts section in Settings," says Instagram. "This control applies to all the posts in your feed."

The company adds, "You can also choose to hide like counts before sharing a post. You can turn this setting on or off, even after it goes live. People want more flexibility, so we thought it would be important to give people the option. In the next few weeks you will see both of these controls come to Facebook."

So, there you have it! Will you be doing away with likes (both on your own page and on your feed), or keeping the numbers coming?

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