Instagram and parent company Facebook are enabling more customization — for creators and viewers alike — with the ability for all users to hide public ‘like’ counts.
Instagram explained in a blog post that it has long been testing hiding like counts — since July 2019 — in a bid to depressurize users’ experiences on the platform. The company also explained that it was officially implementing the customization on top of others that it has rolled out in recent months, including the ability to hide DM requests, restrict other users from viewing you profile, a mute option, and a tool to track time spent on the app.
“What we heard from people and experts was that not seeing like counts was beneficial for some, and annoying to others,” Instagram wrote, “particularly because people use like counts to get a sense for what’s trending or popular, so we’re giving you the choice.”
As part of the rollout, Instagram collaborated with emotional health and suicide prevention org The Jed Foundation and creators Bunny Michael and Schulyer Bailar on a new guide, offering users advice on how to manage pressure online. The company is also soliciting research proposals from global academics and nonprofits that explore people’s experiences on the platform, it said.