·  Legal News, Analysis, & Commentary


Giving People More Control on Instagram and Facebook

— April 28, 2022

Allowing users to decide on their own whether others can see the number of likes and dislikes under their Instagram and Facebook posts or not is a new individual approach to people’s needs and requirements.

The new policy introduced by Facebook allows for the users’ choice either to see the amount of likes on posts and make them visible for other users or decline such options. That will let users gain more control on Instagram and Facebook and leave aside constant stress and frustration if the reality does not meet their expectations.

As any other solution that has been discussed by users and experts since 2019 and tried by the company, this additional control measure has its benefits and drawbacks. Let’s discuss some of them and consider whether this option is advantageous for your presence in social media as a marketer or lawyer.

Why This Solution Seems Beneficial

The announcement made by Facebook about letting their users choose whether visibility of the number of likes under posts is important and beneficial or not has evoked hot debate. However, the decision has been ripening for a long time. Most opinions expressed by the participants of discussion support such a decision. They explain it in the following way.

  1. Personal Well-Being

The company has reported that the numbers of likes everybody can see impact substantially the daily routines and mental health of Facebook and Instagram users. A small number of likes can lead to frustration and even severe depression. Th avoid this and let people more control over their routines and well-being via their accounts is the main aim of this solution.

  1. Protecting Privacy

When other people can see how many likes and dislikes your post gets, it will break your privacy. No one wants to look a failure in the eyes of others. This is another beneficial outcome of the company’s solution.

Moreover, when a user receives a chance to choose who can comment on their post and like it, that can reduce potentially unwanted communications, abuse, and hazardous interactions, and bring peace of mind. The very understanding that you can control the visibility and interaction with others on Instagram and facebook will make you feel more secure and protected. 

  1. Social Importance

    Smartphone with “Social” on the screen & various social media icons, sitting on computer keyboard; image by Geralt, via
    Smartphone with “Social” on the screen & various social media icons, sitting on computer keyboard; image by Geralt, via

There is one more important point related to social media. When you can see a lot of likes under the posts about crime, abuse, corruption, fraud, and poverty, it can lead to political and social polarization and generate further extreme content. 

  1. Efficiency of Account Use

If you are an active Facebook or Instagram user, you want to focus on the content of your posts, quality of audios and videos, but not on the number of likes you can get. That makes using your account more creative and productive. It is especially important for new marketing technologies related to cryptocurrencies, AI, and cyber-security, such as ICOholder, and many others.

  1. Positive Experience

When you cannot block other people’s seeing likes under your post, you may not feel confident about what you are doing. To build self-awareness and receive a more positive experience of using Instagram or Facebook is an essential benefit.

A Word About Drawbacks of the Solution

However, different people use their Instagram and Facebook accounts in a different way. Their needs may also change over time. That is why there are voices that stand against this policy. They claim that the change in Facebook’s policies lead to violation of human rights. Such users believe that the ability to see the number of likes and dislikes under third-parties’ accounts provides more possibilities for the right choice of the online content.

Moreover, there are people who argue that this solution is annoying for many people because they may be deprived of a certain reward. Huge numbers of likes serve as this reward, so people will not get a desired size of dopamine which is responsible for feeling happy and satisfied.

Some others just state that, instead of imposing a sort of restrictions, facebook authorities should think about making structural changes and introducing new options to users.

In addition, experts speak about one more disadvantage here. ‘Likes’ are a valuable source of socially important information for creators and influencers who use the platforms regularly for their activity. If they don’t see what topics get more attention, approval , or disapproval, it will be rather difficult for them to continue sending their message to the public.

The Revolutionary Ideas

Taking into account all pros and cons of such control limitations, the company has introduced a completely new feature. This revolutionary solution lets users handle the ‘likes’ themselves.

When on Instagram, you will be able to enter the app’s settings and switch off the ‘like count’ on your posts from other people. You need to go to ‘Settings’, and choose ‘Posts’. You will see a toggle there. When you switch it on, it will hide the like counts under the posts placed by other people that can be viewable in your feed. Though, all these likes remain visible if you switch back to the default setting.

In the similar way, you can also decide whether you would like other users to see the number of likes on your post or not on Facebook. However, you will still be able to see how many likes you have got under your posts.

On Instagram, you will simultaneously see other metrics related to story views, comments on posts, and counts of followers. As Adam Mosseri, the Instagram head believes, letting users decide whether or not to allow the visible likes can reconcile those who prefer like counts to be seen and those who object to it.

Final Thoughts

In fact, allowing users to decide on their own whether others can see the number of likes and dislikes under their Instagram and Facebook posts or not is a new individual approach to people’s needs and requirements. That will give users more control over their accounts and more pleasant experiences of using social networks. However, Mosseri is not sure that giving this option will play an important role in improving someone’s mental health. 

Despite increasing personal security and privacy protection, such individual tools and characteristics cannot impact much the overall levels of users’ stress and anxiety. The matter is that they need to find and change the option themselves, and it is not always possible. 

The company should continue looking for more fundamental changes to facebook and Instagram, apply making important adjustments to certain features, and that will be even more beneficial for different people, especially for lawyers or marketers, than just the chance to see or not to see the number of likes under posts. If the company can provide more options to people to choose from, using social networks will become safer and more convenient.

Join the conversation!