Instagram and Facebook have been experimenting with hiding the Like count for the past year, with the feature becoming official in the middle of the pandemic. Today the Instagram revealed it is bringing the counters back, but users will have control over what they see and what their followers can see.
First and foremost, there is the option to hide counts on all posts in the News Feed. This allows you to focus on photos and videos rather than on the popularity of a given post. The toggle can be found in the new Posts section in Settings -> Privacy and applies instantly.
In terms of personal content, you can turn off like counts on your posts, but they have to flick the switch themselves – currently, the likes are visible. Not only that, there isn’t a master toggle, so you have to turn off the counter in each and every post if they want the numbers to be hidden across the whole profile.
According to Instagram, there has been some change in people’s experience – some found it depressing, while others used like counts to get a sense of what is trending or popular. Creators were also split on the matter, so the platform eventually decided to leave it up to users – both public or private, verified or not.