Users could soon hide ‘like’ counts on Instagram, Facebook

Users could soon hide ‘like’ counts on Instagram, Facebook

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The tiny red hearts that appear under Instagram photos of kids, kittens, and sandwiches can be a source of stress for many users, an insidious way of measuring self worth and popularity.

Now, Facebook is saying it is going to test out again an option for users to hide those like counts to see if it can reduce the pressure of being on social media. Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, will soon allow a small group of random users to decide whether or not they want to see the number of likes their posts and those of others receive.

The social media giant says it’s also exploring the feature for Facebook. Comments will still be available for people who choose to hide likes they just won’t see whether it was 2, 20, or 20,000 people who liked their posts.

Instagram began hiding likes in 2019. While many users welcomed the feature, others, including some influencers, worried it might take away from the social media experience. At the time, the platform didn’t give users a choice to hide or unhide the like counts.

Instagram App

Some people found this beneficial but some still wanted to see like counts so they could track what’s popular,” the company said in a statement. Then COVID hit, and Facebook said it prioritised dealing with the pandemic. Now, the company says it has looked at the feedback from the earlier trial to design the new feature.

In March this year, a bug caused like counts to disappear for some Instagram users for a couple of hours, prompting questions about whether the company would soon relaunch the feature.

The company stressed that this is still a small test and that it expects more to share before long.

Meanwhile, an independent board set up by Facebook to look into hate speech and other undesirable content on the platform on Tuesday said it will now accept cases from Facebook and Instagram users who believe the company wrongfully allowed such content to remain on these social media platforms.

(Disclaimer: Additional background information has been added to this PTI copy for context)



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