Social media platforms Facebook and Instagram used to display exactly how many people had “liked” or “viewed” any given post. Then, in 2019, they began experimenting with hiding this data. Now the sites are giving the choice back to users and allowing them to choose if they want to hide or show their posts’ engagement information with everyone. So why are Facebook and Instagram making these changes, and how will it affect consumers?
Why hide your “likes” and “views” on social media?
Instagram chief Adam Mosseri said the change is designed to help users to focus on the actual content of what they’re sharing, rather than only focusing on the attention it receives. Social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook were originally designed to share memories, connect like-minded communities near and far, and help users stay in touch with friends and family. However, as sharing our lives online has become more popular, there has been quite a bit of research and debate about how beneficial social media really is for mental health and happiness.
Instagram has been the focus of many studies, as one of the main culprits in damaging social media behavior. The number of “likes” a post receives can have a big impact on how consumers, especially young users, feel. ”Likes” become a measure of popularity and acceptance, and can cause stress and anxiety for those using the platform. By allowing users to hide those numbers, this new function lets consumers escape some of the stressful aspects of social media, and just enjoy the positive connections and sharing instead.
Drawbacks of hiding “likes” and “views” on Instagram and Facebook
As the use of social media has risen, so has the prevalence of social media “influencers”. Influencers are popular social media personalities who often work with companies in order to market certain services or products through their accounts. Their popularity and respect among their followers make them a great marketing tool for companies, and many influencers have made this their primary job and income. Companies often use numbers of “likes” and “views” to determine who they should work with, and how much those people should earn per post.
For these users, having their “likes” and “views” hidden may have been detrimental to their social media marketing businesses. With the latest update, they can now choose to display their numbers. However, even if they choose not to, there are still many other ways for companies to see engagement on influencer’s pages and posts (such as their number of followers, how many people comment on their posts, and tracking how many followers use their marketing codes or links).
How to hide your “likes” and “views” on Instagram
Want to enable hidden engagement stats on your posts? It’s now easy to do. Under the “Settings” section of your Instagram account, there is a new “Posts” tab. By navigating there, you’ll be able to choose whether your posts show “likes” or not. Follow these steps:
- Select a photo you’d like to share.
- Make any edits you’d like to the image, then click “Next” in the top right-hand corner.
- On the next page that opens, you can add your caption, location, and any tags. Scroll to the bottom of that page, and click on the small grey text that says “Advanced Settings”
- To hide engagement information, click the first toggle beside the text “Hide Like and View Counts on This Post” so that it turns blue.
- Hit the back arrow once your settings have been updated.
- Then, click the “Share” button when you’re ready!
Hide engagement information on old Instagram posts
Want to hide likes and views on older posts? Follow these instructions to make sure all your posts have the privacy level that you prefer:
- Navigate to your account by clicking your image in the bottom right-hand corner of your Instagram account. Scroll through your images, and click on the photo you’d like to update settings for.
- Once the image is open, you’ll see three dots in the top right corner. Tap those dots to bring up a menu of options.
- Select “Hide Like Count” or for videos, select “Hide Like and View Counts”
- You can also turn comments off from this menu if you’d rather not have comments on your post.
How to hide “likes” and “views” on Facebook
On Facebook, you can now also have control over how your “likes” are shown. If you want to alter your current settings follow these steps:
- Open your Facebook account, and click the carrot in the top right-hand corner. To bring up a drop-down menu.
- Select “Settings & Privacy” from the menu.
- Then, choose “News Feed Preferences” from the next menu. This will pull up a pop-up box.
- Click the last option from the pop-up: “Reaction Preferences”.
- Toggle on either of the two options you’ll see in the next panel.
- You can choose to hide reaction “likes” on posts from others. This means that on your news feed, pages, and group posts you won’t see counts for “likes” or other Facebook reactions. Certain parts of Facebook, such as the Marketplace will not be updated by this setting yet.
- You can also choose to hide “likes” and reaction counts on your own posts. This means that anything you post on your own profile will not display counts for your engagement. Reactions will still be counted on posts in other places such as groups, or on reels.
Whichever settings you choose for your social media accounts, the main benefit of these changes is that the power is back in your hands! Consumers can choose how their posts are displayed, and how they engage with other people’s content. No matter what you decide, you can choose a social media experience tailored to your needs.
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