Facebook is constantly introducing new updates to enhance the user experience. Many of their new features–from Stories to Facebook Live–have been a hit with users. In fact, more than 1 billion people now use Stories.
Marketers need to constantly stay on top of these updates so they can make full use of the platform’s potential and keep up with the competition.
On that note, let’s take a closer look at one of the latest features–the option to hide likes on Facebook. We’ll dive into why you may want to hide likes on Facebook and walk you through how to do it.
Why you may want to hide likes on Facebook
As much as we try to deny it, it’s easy to let those engagement numbers get to you. But with the hide likes feature on Facebook, you can now keep those metrics private. Let’s look at a few more reasons why you may want to hide likes on Facebook.
1. You don’t need to create content just for likes
Many social media users are using the number of likes on their posts to validate themselves and the content they create. In their minds, the more likes they get, the better their content is. So, before creating or posting anything, they’re asking themselves, “Will people like this?” As a result, they end up not creating or publishing the kind of content they want to create.
2. Few likes may send a negative signal to your audience
It’s not just the Facebook algorithm that’s counting likes as a way to rank posts on the platform. Social media users are also using those numbers to judge the quality and popularity of the content. If they see that a post has a ton of likes, they immediately decide that it’s a hit with other users.
So, instead of looking at the actual quality and content of the post, they’re letting those numbers decide what content to like, share or interact with. In other words, there’s a chance the number of likes could affect your Facebook engagement.
3. Creates a more positive environment
Facebook designed the option to hide likes so that users will focus more on the photos and videos rather than the likes. This could make for a healthier, more positive environment in which users have the freedom to express themselves. As a result, we may be able to see creativity flourish as creators get the courage to experiment and exhibit their originality.
4. Benefits brands just getting started on Facebook
For many brands, turning off like counts on Facebook is a great way to encourage your audience to judge the content objectively. This is particularly helpful for brands that are just starting to grow their presence on the platform.
National Geographic doesn’t hide likes but here’s a peek at what this post would look like if they did:
5. Improves mental health
Unfortunately, like counts not only affect the content creation process but also people’s mental health. Experts have found that getting fewer social media likes can decrease feelings of self-worth in adolescents.
The lack of validation could lead to increased negative thoughts about themselves. This may even increase symptoms of depression and anxiety over time. So, one of the most obvious benefits of hiding likes on Facebook is the possibility of improving users’ mental health.
Why you may not want to hide likes on Facebook
On the flip side, hiding likes on Facebook may not always have positive results. For instance, influential users may be unable to demonstrate their content performance. As a result, they may have a harder time scoring brand partnerships.
For brands, not displaying your Facebook likes may come across as deceptive or questionable. In a world where transparency has become the key to winning consumer trust, this could put a damper on your relationship with the audience.
How to hide likes on Facebook: Your posts
Have you decided to try out this new feature? If so, it’s super easy to set up. Here are three simple steps to hide the like count on your Facebook posts:
Step 1: Go to your brand Facebook Page and click on the profile icon at the top right-hand corner of the screen. From the drop-down menu, select “Settings & privacy” and then choose “Settings.” You can follow the same steps for your personal profile if you want to try it out for your personal Facebook account.
Step 2: Once on your “Settings” dashboard, click on the “Privacy” button from the left-hand panel of the screen. This will open all your privacy-related settings. From here, you can change settings for your Page information, tagging actions, blocking and messaging.
Step 3: From the left-hand panel, select “Reaction preferences” at the bottom. Then toggle on the option to hide the number of reactions on your posts.
That’s it–your posts will no longer display the number of likes you’ve received. Once you’re ready to start displaying the number of likes again, you just need to follow the same steps as above and then toggle off this option.
How to hide likes on Facebook: Pages you’ve liked
When everyone can see the Pages you’ve liked, it’s easy for your information to get compromised. By default, everyone can get an idea of your interests and values based on the Pages you’ve liked.
Malicious users could manipulate the info to their advantage. This may involve running elaborate scams with targeted messaging. They may even be able to use the info to imitate your brand, which could threaten your brand reputation.
So, hiding the Pages you’ve liked is an excellent way to prevent becoming overexposed on the platform. That way, you can retain some of your privacy and significantly reduce the chances of your account getting compromised.
Additionally, brands may also want to hide the other Pages they’ve liked to streamline the information they display on their Page. When people come to your Facebook Page, it’s to find more info about your business. They may want to see your photos and videos or get involved with your community.
However, they’re not necessarily interested in finding out what films, sports teams or TV shows your brand likes. So, when you hide them from your Page, it becomes easier for people to find the info that they really need.
For example, Califia Farms chooses to display sections about their events, reviews, photos and videos. Additionally, they choose to include sections about their brand and their community. This keeps the Page minimal while displaying only the most important information.
Here’s the step-by-step process of how to hide the Pages you’ve liked on Facebook:
Step 1: Go to profile and click on the “More” button. You’ll find this in the toolbar under your cover photo. The same option is available on your brand Page if you want to hide the Pages that your brand has liked on Facebook.
Step 2: Select the “Likes” option from the drop-down menu. This will open your “Likes” dashboard, which displays all the pages you’ve liked across Facebook.
Step 3: Click on the ellipses button from the top right-hand corner of the screen. This will open a drop-down menu with two options. Click on the “Hide Section” button to instantly hide all the Pages you’ve liked. Select “Edit the Privacy of Your Likes” to manually edit the privacy for different categories.
Step 4: Now you’ll be able to see a list of all the Page categories that are available on Facebook. You can manually change the privacy of your likes for each category. Click on the globe button next to the category you want to edit and then select “Only me.”
Note that this option is only available to personal accounts. So, you won’t get the option to change the audience settings for separate categories for your brand Page. The only option is to hide all your liked pages. To do this, just follow the instructions above i.e., clicking on the “Hide Section” button.
Bonus step: You can further edit the sections you want to display on your Page to keep it clean and minimal. To do this, click on the “More” button and select “Manage Sections” from the drop-down menu. Then uncheck all the sections you want to hide from your page.
We suggest keeping only the most essential details about your business. This includes your “About” section and your photos and videos. Additionally, you should also give your audience the option to check out your groups, communities, events and Live videos.
Consider if hiding likes on Facebook is right for your brand
Hiding your like counts on Facebook allows users to focus on the content of the post. That way, they can judge the post objectively and decide how to interact with it. As a result, brands that are just starting to grow their presence on the platform could strategically leverage it.
If you decide to hide your Facebook likes from the public, you should still make use of engagement data internally. Check out our complete guide on Facebook analytics to help inform your strategy.