Users can now choose to hide the number of likes on their posts or disable them across all posts in their feed.
Facebook and Instagram has began rolling out an option for users to hide public “likes” on their posts starting from May 26.
With the new feature, every user can choose to hide their like counts on their posts or disable them across all posts.
If users opt-out of sharing public ‘like’ counts on their posts, viewers will not be able to see the number of likes a post has gotten. However, the person who posted the photo will still be able to access the number of likes, even if it is not displayed publicly.
The feature, which has been in testing since 2019, was created to “depressurise people’s experience” and give users more control on the platforms, Facebook said in an announcement on Wednesday.
The new feature will also encourage users to “focus on the photos and videos being shared, instead of how many likes posts get.”
However, it may take some time – from a few days to a few weeks – for the feature to reach both Facebook and Instagram users globally.
To turn off ‘like’ and ‘view’ counts on Instagram, simply click the options button on the post itself and select “Hide Like Count”. The setting can be enabled before sharing a post.
On Facebook, go to “Settings & Privacy” under News Feed Settings (or News Feed Preferences on desktop) and select “Hide Number of Reactions” to enable this setting for your own posts and posts from others.
Although the new feature is optional, Instagram chief Adam Mosseri said that the platform will explore whether to hide like counts by default for users under the age of 18.
As part of the rollout, Facebook said that the company has 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”.
The company is also funding external research about user experience on Instagram and is requesting research proposals from global academics and non-profits.
“Changing the way people view like counts is a big shift. We’ll continue working on new ways to give people more choice, so they feel good about the time they spend on our apps,” Facebook said.
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