The app rolled out the feature globally last week following a lengthy testing process. "What we heard from people and experts was that not seeing like counts was beneficial for some, and annoying to others, particularly because people use like counts to get a sense for what’s trending or popular, so we’re giving you the choice," the app said in a blog post.
Thankfully, the new like-hiding feature is really easy to use. To hide the like count on an existing post, simply tap the three-dot icon in the upper-right corner of a photo, then select "hide like count". You can do this for as many pictures on your grid as you wish.
To hide the like count on a new post, tap the "advanced settings" box on the bottom of the final editing screen, then switch on "hide like and view counts on this post". Once you've posted the photo, no one will see how many likes it gets.
From now on, you can also choose not to see like counts on other people's posts. To use this feature, head into your Instagram settings, which you'll find via the three-line icon on the upper-right corner of your profile. There you'll see an option to "hide like and view counts", which can you activate by toggling to the right.
These new features are completely reversible, meaning you can stop hiding likes on your posts and everyone else's at any point.
“The spirit of this is to give people a choice," Instagram's boss Adam Mosseri told the BBC. "Maybe you want to be a little bit less worried about how many likes everyone's getting for a couple weeks or a couple of months, and then maybe you want to switch back. If it's a one-way door, people tend to get hesitant about using the control."