Since 2019, Facebook has been testing a way for users to hide the like or reaction counter on their posts from people that follow them. Followers could only see the names of users that reacted to that post, similar to how Instagram tested hiding the total like counts for posts earlier that year.
Today, Facebook announced that this new control is rolling out to everyone on Instagram starting today. It will allow you to hide like counts on the photo and video sharing service. You'll have to opt in, though, in order to prevent others from seeing how many likes your posts have received. In addition, there's an option to stop seeing like counts on all posts in your feed.
To hide the like counts on all posts in your feed, you can simply head over to the new Posts section in Settings and then toggle that option. This option is available before you hit the share button or even after your post went live.
Facebook noted that this change aims to give people more control over their experience on the social media platform. Its earlier tests were also meant to "see if it might depressurize people’s experience on Instagram." Over the next few weeks, both controls will go live on Facebook as well.
With the new feature, the social networking giant hopes to improve your digital well-being, too. As part of this effort, Facebook is funding third-party researchers to conduct studies on improving people’s experiences on Instagram and to polish its policies and products to improve community support. Application for the fund is currently open to all global academics and non-profits.