Facebook and Instagram have rolled out a new feature that lets users control if their followers and friends can see the number of likes on their posts and other media content. “Today, we’re announcing that everyone on Instagram and Facebook will now have the option to hide their public like counts, so they can decide what works for them,” said Facebook in a statement.
Facebook and Instagram have previously experimented with removing the like count on posts across various regions globally. However, these experiments often led to mixed reviews from people.
“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 for what’s trending or popular, so we’re giving you the choice,” the statement added.
Facebook and Instagram will also be “looking for more ways to give people control over their experience”. The platform has announced new tools to allow people to filter offensive content from their DMs (direct messages) along with giving people control over what they see and share on the Facebook News Feed.
“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,” the company said.