Facebook and Instagram users can now prevent others from seeing how many likes they receive on posts.
As of today, users will have the option to hide like counts on their own posts, as well as hide like counts on posts they see from other people in their feed.
Facebook says hiding like counts allows users to focus on consuming and sharing content and not get preoccupied with the the amount of likes received.
Here’s how users can hide like counts on their own content and content from others .
Hiding Like Counts on Instagram and Facebook
How to Hide Your Own Like Counts
Users have two options when it comes to hiding their own like counts. They can either choose to hide likes on new content during the publishing process, or they can hide likes on all content published by their account.
To hide like counts on all posts go to Settings > Advanced Settings > Hide Like and View Counts.
Users can hide like counts on individual pieces of content from the post composer screen. Like counts can also be hidden after publishing by tapping on the amount of likes and selecting “Hide Like Count.”
The decision to hide like counts from all or some posts is not permanent. Users can choose to reinstate likes if they prefer.
It’s important to note here that users will always have access to their own like and view counts even when they’re hidden from other people.
These options are currently available on Instagram and will be rolled out to Facebook in the coming weeks.
How to Hide Like Counts On Others’ Posts
Users can hide likes on posts they see from other people via a new section in the settings panel.
Select this option by going to Settings > Posts > Hide Like and View Counts.
This option can be turned on and off at any time, but there doesn’t appear to be a way to show like counts on a per post basis.
Didn’t Facebook & Instagram Do This Already?
Facebook and Instagram ran several tests in recent years where public like counts were hidden for everyone.
Users had no control over whether their likes were hidden or displayed, which lead to frustration from people who valued this data.
“We tested hiding like counts to see if it might depressurize people’s experience on Instagram. 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.”
It looks like the company has found a happy medium that puts individuals in control so they can decide what works for them.
Today’s update is a continuation of changes Facebook has been making in an effort to let users customize their experience.
One of the newest examples of this effort is a change made in March that allows people to set limits on who can comment on posts.
Along with that change came several options for tweaking News Feed preferences. Facebook says to expect more of these changes in the future as it works on new ways to give people choice.