INSTAGRAM AND FACEBOOK USERS CAN NOW FINALLY HIDE LIKE COUNTS
Facebook and Instagram will give users the choice to hide “Like” counts on their own posts as well as others' posts that appear in their feeds, the company announced on Wednesday.
This comes after a few years of heavy testing from both apps, where many mental health advocates have been pushing the company to hide the amount of likes a post gains, as it can heavily affect a person’s mental health, especially since the Covid-19 pandemic. Experts have argued that removing a like button or like counts could help reduce anxiety and social pressures for some Facebook and Instagram users.
With the feature now slowly becoming available for everyone on both platforms, there is a straightforward method in having the likes show or not show at all.
In Instagram, go to Settings > Posts > Hide Counts to have posts never show the number of interactions from a post you have either posted or yet to post.
“We tested hiding like counts to see if it might depressurize people’s experience on Instagram,” says an Instagram spokesperson. “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 for what’s trending or popular, so we’re giving you the choice.”
In Facebook, you can soon choose to hide the amount when you are about to share a post, while being able to set this across all your posts is being enabled in the coming weeks.
Hiding like counts on a per-post basis on Instagram, so there is a little more flexibility to allow people to focus on the content of posts rather than the like counts. Facebook will get these same per-post controls in the next few weeks.
However, with options like these that Facebook is finally rolling out, and more restrictions being lifted, social media has an even greater chance of being a healthy outlet, rather than a toxic one for mental health.