The Pros and Cons of Hiding Likes on Social Media

In recent years, social media platforms have undergone a significant transformation by hiding likes, starting with Instagram and later followed by Facebook. This alteration, initially met with skepticism, has generated a range of reactions and consequences for both individual users and businesses.

This article explores the implications of hiding likes on these platforms, examining the pros and cons associated with this change.


Pros of Hiding Likes on Social Media

  1. More Authentic Content: One of the most significant advantages of hiding likes is that it encourages users to post more authentic content. Before this change, many users were driven to create content solely for the purpose of accumulating likes. With like counts concealed, users are more likely to share what genuinely interests them, rather than chasing after the content they believe will garner the most likes. This shift promotes a more genuine and diverse range of content.
  2. Improved Interaction: Concealing like counts has the potential to enhance online interaction. In the absence of prominently displayed likes, users may be more inclined to engage with posts through comments and meaningful discussions. This can foster deeper connections and more meaningful conversations on social media, moving away from the superficiality of the “like” culture.
  3. Reduced Like-Related Anxiety: The constant pursuit of likes had created a culture of anxiety and competition among social media users. With like counts hidden, users no longer feel the pressure to measure their self-worth or content quality solely by the number of likes received. This reduction in performance-related stress can contribute to improved mental well-being among users.
  4. Less Moral Grandstanding: Hiding like counts can also have a positive impact on the way users express their opinions on social media. The absence of visible like counts may discourage individuals from engaging in moral grandstanding, where they broadcast their strong beliefs to seek validation. This, in turn, can lead to more respectful and constructive discussions on social media platforms, reducing the potential for polarization and conflict.

Cons of Hiding Likes on Social Media

  1. Fewer Metrics: For businesses and marketers, the removal of like counts presents a challenge. Likes have long been a key indicator of user engagement, and their absence makes it more difficult to assess the performance of posts. Without this valuable metric, measuring the impact of content and comparing it to competitors becomes a complex task.
  2. Reduced Value Potential: The elimination of like counts could potentially reduce the perceived value of social media platforms. For example, Instagram’s appeal to users and advertisers was partly based on its visual appeal and the ability to quantify popularity through likes. With this aspect diminished, the platform may need to find new ways to demonstrate its value to users and advertisers.
  3. Impact on Influencers: Influencers, who often rely on like counts to showcase their reach and effectiveness to brands, may face challenges. Likes have been a currency for influencers, and the removal of this visible metric may affect their ability to negotiate partnerships and secure opportunities for collaboration.


While most users appear content with the decision to hide likes on social media, it’s those who rely on engagement metrics for revenue, such as businesses and influencers, who are most affected by this change. However, experts suggest that brands can still measure their performance effectively using other performance indicators, such as sales, brand awareness, customer engagement, and ambassador effectiveness. In this context, the benefits of hidden likes seem to outweigh the drawbacks for the majority of users, ushering in a new era of authenticity and meaningful interaction on social media platforms.

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