Last month, Facebook and Instagram announced they’d be offering new opt-in options to hide engagements (i.e. likes, comments, etc.) from posts. One option allows users to hide like counts on all posts they see in their feed and another option to hide like counts on your own individual posts from others. This move comes after various studies suggesting that viewing likes on Instagram can be detrimental to mental health. But what do these site’s users actually think about the change – will they opt to turn on one or both of the features?
In two CivicScience studies, the data show that the majority of users don’t plan to opt-in to either experience. Between the two, however, the feature that allows users to hide like counts on their own individual posts is the most popular; In fact, 1 in 5 users (ages 13 or older) say they’re ‘very likely’ to turn this on.
On the other hand, only 12% of Facebook and/or Instagram users are likely to hide like counts from other posts in their feeds.
Hiding likes from others on your own posts seems to be most popular among the youngest age demographic (13 – 25). Nearly 30% of this group says they’re very likely to turn the feature on.
As this feature rolls out and becomes more popular, CivicScience will continue to track opt-in rates as well as the (potential) impact it may have on users’ mental health.