Facebook and Instagram users can now hide their like counts from both new and previously posted photos and videos. After years of testing on both platforms, apps have started pushing updates for hiding like counts to allow usersto disable the likes for public counts.
"In 2019, we started hiding like counts for a small group of people to understand if it lessens some pressure when posting to Instagram. Some people found this beneficial, but some still wanted to see like counts so they could track what's popular," said a Facebook spokesperson.
First, there is an option to hide counts on all posts in the News Feed. This allows you to focus on photos and videos rather than popularity of a given on the post. The toggle can be found in the new posts section in Settings -> Privacy and applies instantly.For individual posts, you can turn off like counts on your posts, but the likes are visible until your viewers switch off the like count themselves. However, you can still turn off the counter in each and every post manually if you want the numbers to be hidden across your whole profile.
Some experts believe that the quest for likes can be addictive, specially for teenagers and can have devastating effects. Facebook has been experimenting with these features along with testing them on Instagram as well. The current version of the like counter may be refined in the future as more people engage with the new feature.