For years, Instagram and Facebook have been trying all sorts of ways to prevent users from seeing how many likes posts on the respective platforms have received. Various case studies and research articles suggest likes on social media are a leading factor in the poor mental health of today’s youth, so naturally companies are trying to adapt.
That’s the reason behind today’s announcement: there’s now a toggle to let you turn on or off likes across both platforms. Instagram’s providing some more granular controls as well, allowing users to turn off like visibility for individual posts shared on the platform. Facebook will gain the same ability in the near future.
“What one person wants from their Instagram experience is different from the next, and people’s needs are changing,” said Instagram in a press release. “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.
“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.”