The pros and cons of hiding likes on social media

Let's explore the pros and cons to hiding likes on social media.

On social media, likes are gold. The more you get, the more valuable your account is. Despite this, both Instagram and Facebook now allow users to keep their likes unknown. Instead of a post on either platform showing 20,000 likes, for example, it instead shows that a post was liked by ‘x and others’.

Initially, some were sceptical about the move. However, with the dust settled, let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of hiding likes on social media. 

Pros

Greater authenticity

By removing likes these platforms are inspiring creators and users to post the content they want to post, as opposed to the content they expect will do well. Rather than posting something that appeals to the masses, creators can buy into their niche and harness their passions without fear of their content’s lack of likes being broadcast to the public.

In turn, this creates a social media environment rife with authenticity, where individuals are creating videos and photos in a way that is true to themselves, as opposed to one that goes with the collective flow. 

More content variety

Without likes on show, and therefore the need to create content that appeals to the masses, users of social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook are blessed with a wider variety of content.

This is because creators feel less incentivised to post what they think people want and instead post what the content they want to post, created in their unique style. As a result, social media users are more likely to see a greater variety of content on their home page and recommend feeds. 

Improved consumer mental health

There have been countless studies on social media’s negative effects, including feelings of inadequacy and harm caused by social comparison. Removing likes eliminates consumers’ feelings of inadequacy and removes the anxiety they may feel over a lack of likes on their posts.

Cons

Harder to track business success

Without likes appearing on every post, it may be harder for businesses to track the success of their social media campaigns. If they’ve set out to hit a certain number of likes, not being able to see them appearing on each photo or video could complicate the process of assessing whether or not the campaign was successful.

Limits influencers and marketers

Likes have become a central component of influencers and social media marketing. The more likes an influencer or brand attracts, the more it can likely charge for posts and advertisements.

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