Facebook is rolling out a new change that will allow you to hide Like counts on your Instagram account. This change will apply to both your page and those of others. In other words, you’ll be able to hide the likes counts on your own posts so that others can’t see them, and you’ll be able to hide the likes counts on your feed posts so they can’t see them.
A trial that began in 2019 showed the first steps of this change, with the company initially saying that it wanted “its followers to focus on what you share, not how many Likes your posts get.”
The change was intended to improve people’s experience on Instagram and remove the pressure to post for likes. Instagram, although it popularized the “Like” tool as a measure of participation, it also increased the pressure to perform in terms of likes. As a result, people would post with the correct hashtags, optimize their photos with filters, or even buy likes just to keep up with their peers. This new update is meant to remove that incentive and allow people to only post.
However, Instagram also noted that some people would like to keep seeing similar counts, so that has become optional. An all or nothing option a la Vsco or Dispo may be easier to force a cultural change in the community. But the company would be altering its flow of influencers who often need these metrics to compare themselves with others.
Speaking to the Washington Post when the company accidentally extended its test this year, an esthetician named Nayamka Roberts-Smith said:
Hiding likes counts on Instagram is hard for me; it seems to prevent me from learning how other people use Instagram and how I might want to use Instagram. I’d still have my analytics, but that only shows one side, and I really like to see how other people’s posts perform.
Like it or hate it, this change is effective on Instagram accounts worldwide as of today. Facebook says it will be coming to the main Facebook app in the coming weeks.