Instagram and Facebook now let you CHOOSE if you want to hide likes or not: Apps reveal new options following backlash over plans to hide likes for everyone
- Instagram started testing hiding like counts for users back in 2019
- The trial received some backlash including from social media influencers
- Now, Instagram and Facebook will let you choose whether to see likes on other users’ posts, as well as whether other users can see likes on your own posts
Instagram and Facebook have announced new options for hiding likes on posts, in the hopes of building a ‘more positive experience’ on the platforms.
The popular apps began hiding like counts for users in seven countries back in 2019 to understand if it ‘reduces pressure associated with posting’.
But the trial received some negative user feedback – leading to the Facebook-owned apps making a few alterations this time around.
This time, users will be able to choose whether they see likes on other users’ posts, as well as whether other users see likes on their posts.
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Instagram and Facebook have announced new options for hiding likes on posts, in the hopes of building a ‘more positive experience’ on the platforms
Starting today, Instagram and Facebook are giving the option to:
- Hide like counts on all posts in their feed
- Hide like counts on their own posts, so others can’t see how many likes their posts get
- Hide like counts on others’ posts
- Choose to hide like counts before sharing a post. People can turn this setting on or off, even after the post goes live
Instagram has concerns that seeing a post with thousands of likes can lead to feelings of low self-worth for users who only get a few likes or have just a handful of followers.
The efforts to make users feel happier online amid concerns social media can contribute to low self-esteem and feelings of inadequacy in young people.
Instagram announced the new like-hiding options in a blog today.
It explained: ‘You may have noticed that we’ve been testing hiding like counts on Instagram for a while.
‘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.’
From today, users will be given the option to hide like counts on all posts in their feed, or on their own posts.
‘This way, if you like, you can focus on the photos and videos being shared, instead of how many likes posts get,’ Instagram explained.
Alternatively, users can hide like counts on others’ posts by visiting the new Posts section in settings.
From today, users will be given the option to hide like counts on all posts in their feed, or on their own posts
The like-hiding options were first tested back in 2019 to see if it might ‘depressurise people’s experience on Instagram’.
However, some independent experts have suggested the decision was actually more to do with advertising and revenue.
‘Let’s stop the bulls**t that this recent change is about reducing the incidence of mental health among their users,’ said Dave Levett, head of Australian marketing agency Murmur.
‘It’s about raising ad revenue for the platform, and make Instagram more appealing for small businesses and brands to pump dollars into the growing social behemoth.’
The move was also criticised by many influencers, who rely on like counts for securing new brand deals.
Instagram explained: ‘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 apps hope the update will change the way people view like counts.
‘Changing the way people view like counts is a big shift. We’ll continue working on new ways to give people more choice, so they feel good about the time they spend on our apps,’ it added.
Instagram launches crackdown on fake accounts with new feature giving users more information
Instagram has launched a crackdown on fake accounts, introducing a new feature showing users information about who is really behind a username.
The Photo-sharing app’ more than 1 billion users will now be able to evaluate the authenticity of accounts, weeks after parent Facebook rolled out similar measures in a bid to weed out fake accounts on its social media platform.
The ‘About This Account’ feature will allow users to see the advertisements an account is running, the country where the account is located, username changes in the past year as well as other details.
To learn more about an account, go to their Profile, tap the … menu and then select ‘About This Account.’
There, you will see the date the account joined Instagram, the country where the account is located, accounts with shared followers, any username changes in the last year and any ads the account is currently running.
Instagram also plans to significantly boost the number of verified accounts for public figures, celebrities, and global brands.
Along with the account username, applicants will need to provide full real names and a copy of legal or business identification.
Instagram also said it will allow the use of third-party apps such as DUO Mobile and Google Authenticator for two-factor authentication to help users securely log in to their accounts.