Facebook users who want to hide the number of reactions their posts get, and those who would like to shield themselves from seeing other people’s reaction counts, can choose to hide both on their Facebook accounts. Like many social media apps that thrive on user interaction, Facebook can be toxic for some people. Apart from worrying about misinformation and exposure to trolls in comments, some users still put a lot of stock in posts that have received a huge amount of likes.
As much as social media has developed over the years to include useful features and services that optimize everyday life, there’s still a part of it that negatively impacts a person’s mental wellbeing, especially younger users. The still prevalent like-count culture in apps like Facebook or Instagram is often the source of dread and stress for users who tend to use social media platforms as a means to boost their self-esteem and online popularity in their circles. While garnering a high amount of engagement on the web can certainly boost a person’s morale and sense of self-worth in some cases, the lack of high numbers and reaction symbols underneath social media posts can have disastrous effects on mental health.
Related: How To Hide Like Counts On Instagram Posts (& Why You Should)
To try and address this concern, Facebook has added the ability to hide or unhide the number of reactions to a user’s posts in the app. To do this on a tablet or mobile phone, launch the Facebook app and tap Menu (hamburger icon) — this will be located on the top-right corner of the screen on an Android device and the bottom-right corner of the screen on an iPhone or iPad. Scroll down and tap Settings & Privacy, then hit Settings. Under Preferences, tap Reaction preferences. Switch on the toggle next to On your posts to hide reaction counts on personal content. Enable On posts from others to stop seeing the total number of reactions from other users. Users can also do this through Facebook’s web version by clicking on the dropdown arrow on the top-right corner of the screen. Click Settings & privacy, then click News Feed Preferences. Select Reaction preferences and enable On your posts to hide personal reaction stats from others, On posts from others to stop seeing other people’s reaction counts, or both.
The Upside Of Hiding Reaction Counts
Facebook is constantly trying to combat a multitude of problems on the app, and giving users the ability to hide Facebook reaction stats is a step in the right direction. However, there are certain limitations. While it’s true that enabling the On your posts feature will hide a user’s reaction count from other people, it doesn’t hide the numbers from users themselves. The list of people who’ve posted reactions to a user’s Facebook post can still be viewed, and other people will still see the total number of reactions on posts that were created in other parts of Facebook, such as groups, Marketplace, Events, Pages, and Stories. Another aspect of the hide feature for a Facebook user’s posts is that when turned on, it affects all the posts the user has created and cannot be enabled for specific individual entries.
This doesn’t completely defeat the purpose of removing the importance of how many likes a post garners on Facebook, though. When both On your posts and On posts from others options are enabled, Facebook users can do away with the added distraction that post statistics may cause and allow the spotlight to be on the content rather than the amount of attention it gets.
The part of a person’s social media-addled brain that prioritizes Facebook posts that have high reaction numbers and considers them as more factual or legitimate than other entries can momentarily be turned off, which can leave more room for impartiality and broad-mindedness. It can also relieve the pressure to be witty or interesting on the app in order to rake in more reactions as a form of reward, and it can eliminate the potentially nagging feeling of unhealthy competition with others who may be faring better on Facebook in terms of reaction counts.