Instagram users could soon hide ‘like’ counts, a move also being considered for Facebook
Facebook will test — again — an option letting a few, randomly chose people hide ‘likes’ on Instagram to see whether that might lessen the pressure of being on social media.
The tiny red hearts that appear under Instagram photos of kids, kittens and sandwiches can be a source of stress for many users, an insidious way of measuring self worth and popularity.
Now, Facebook says it’s going to test — again — an option allowing people to hide those “like” counts to see whether that might reduce the pressure some feel being on social media.
Instagram, which Facebook owns, soon will allow a small, randomly selected group of users to decide whether they want to see the number of likes given to their posts and those of others.
The social media giant says it’s also exploring the feature for Facebook.
Comments will still be available for people who chose to hide likes — they just won’t see whether it was two, 20 or 20,000 people who liked their posts.
Instagram began hiding likes in 2019.
Many users welcomed the feature, but others, including some influencers, worried it might take away from the social media experience.
At the time, the platform didn’t give users a choice to hide or unhide the like counts.
“Some people found this beneficial, but some still wanted to see like counts so they could track what’s popular,” the company said.
Then, COVID-19 hit, and Facebook said it prioritized dealing with the pandemic. Now, the company says it’s looked at the feedback from that earlier trial to design the new feature.
Last month, a bug caused like counts to disappear for some Instagram uses for a couple of hours. That prompted questions about whether the company would soon relaunch the feature.
The company says this will be only a small test and that it expects “more to share” before long.