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.
We tested hiding like counts to see if it might depressurize people’s experience on Instagram. 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 of what’s trending or popular, so we’re giving you the choice.
We’re looking for more ways to give people control over their experience. That’s why we announced new tools to allow people to filter offensive content from their DMs and gave people ways to control what they see and share on Facebook’s News Feed — like the Feed Filter Bar, Favorites Feed and Choose Who Can Comment.
Starting today, we’re giving you the option to hide like counts on all posts in your feed. You’ll also have the option to hide like counts on your own posts, so others can’t see how many likes your posts get. This way, if you like, you can focus on the photos and videos being shared, instead of how many likes posts get.
You can hide like counts on others’ posts by visiting the new Posts section in Settings. This control applies to all the posts in your feed.
You can also choose to hide like counts before sharing a post. You can turn this setting on or off, even after it goes live. People want more flexibility, so we thought it would be important to give people the option. In the next few weeks you will see both of these controls come to Facebook.
What one person wants from their Instagram experience is different from the next, and people’s needs are changing. We’ve been working closely with third-party experts to better understand how to empower people, build self-awareness and shape a more positive experience on Instagram.
As part of these efforts, we collaborated with The Jed Foundation and creators such as Bunny Michael (@bunnymichael) and Schuyler Bailar (@pinkmantaray) on a new Instagram Guide, which offers advice on how to manage pressure online.
We’re also funding more external research about people’s experiences on Instagram, and how we can improve our policies and products to support our community. We’re currently requesting research proposals from global academics and non-profits. If you’re interested you can find more information here on how to submit.
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.