How to Hide Likes on Instagram in 2023: The Ultimate Guide

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Hey friend! Have you ever felt down comparing your Instagram likes to someone else‘s? You‘re not alone. Over 1 billion people use Instagram every month, and the pressure to get more engagement can take a toll on our mental health.

But what if you could take back control of your Instagram experience? Well, now you can!

Instagram recently introduced the ability to hide likes on posts. This gives you the power to curate an Instagram feed that shows off your creativity, not public validation.

In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll walk you through everything you need to know about hiding Instagram likes as a pro social media manager and tech geek. You‘ll learn:

  • How hiding likes works on Instagram
  • Step-by-step instructions to hide likes on your posts
  • How to hide likes on others‘ posts in your feed
  • Who can see your hidden like counts (and who can‘t)
  • The pros and cons of hiding Instagram likes
  • Expert tips to improve your Instagram experience
  • FAQs on hiding likes

Let‘s dive in and take control of your Instagram!

How Do Hidden Likes Work on Instagram?

First, let‘s quickly cover the basics of how hidden likes work on Instagram:

  • Hiding likes removes public like counts on posts, not the ability to like something.
  • You can choose to hide likes on a per post basis, not your entire profile at once.
  • Only you and Instagram can see like counts on your hidden posts.
  • Hidden likes remove public social validation and comparison.
  • Anyone can hide likes on posts in their Instagram feed.
  • Hidden likes rolled out globally by early 2022.

Now that you know the basics, let‘s get into the step-by-step guides.

How to Hide Likes on Your Instagram Posts

You have two options for hiding likes on your own Instagram posts:

Hide Instagram Likes Before Posting

  1. Create and edit your Instagram post as usual, but don‘t post it yet.

  2. Tap Advanced Settings below your caption.

  3. Toggle on Hide Like and View Counts on This Post.

  4. Once enabled, post as normal.

Likes and post views will NOT be visible publicly on that post. Only you can see them in your private analytics.

Hide Likes on Already Published Instagram Posts

  1. Go to the post on your Instagram profile that you want to hide likes and views for.

  2. Tap the three-dot menu () in the top right corner.

  3. Select Hide Like Count from the menu.

  4. The like and view counts will instantly disappear from that published post.

You can still see the metrics in your Instagram Insights though! And you can undo the setting at any time.

How to Hide Likes on Others‘ Instagram Posts

What about hiding likes on posts from accounts you follow in your Instagram feed? Unfortunately, you can‘t hide likes on multiple Instagram posts in bulk. But you can easily do it one post at a time:

  1. Tap on the three-dot menu () at the top right of any post in your feed.

  2. Choose Hide Like Count.

  3. The like and view counts will vanish instantly.

  4. Other users who visit that post will not see the public counts either.

  5. To undo it, just select Show Like Count in the same menu.

So while you can‘t mass hide likes in your Instagram feed, it only takes two taps to hide likes on posts as you discover them.

Who Can See Your Hidden Likes on Instagram Posts?

When you hide likes and views on your own Instagram posts, here‘s who can still see the counts:

  • You – You‘ll still be able to see your exact like count and other insights for hidden posts in your Instagram analytics.
  • Instagram – They need access to accurately track post engagement and performance.
  • The Original Poster – If you hide likes on someone else‘s post in your feed, the original creator can still see their post‘s metrics.

In other words, hiding Instagram likes only removes public counts. You and the original poster retain access to post analytics for your own profiles.

But who can‘t see your hidden Instagram likes?

  • General users/followers – Anyone else who looks at or encounters your post will not see total likes or views.
  • Influencers/brands – Sponsorships rely heavily on public metrics, which are now hidden.

Hiding public like counts on Instagram fundamentally changes the social experience. Let‘s compare some pros and cons.

Pros of Hiding Likes on Instagram

Here are 5 advantages and benefits of hiding public like counts on Instagram posts:

1. Reduce Social Comparison and Anxiety

Multiple studies have found that time spent on Instagram browsing others‘ carefully curated content is linked to negative mental health outcomes like depression and anxiety in young adults.

By hiding likes, you avoid constantly comparing your engagement to others. This can reduce social media induced anxiety and poor self-esteem.

2. Improve Authentic Self-Expression

Rather than trying to game the algorithm, you can post what you‘re genuinely interested in without worrying about like counts. This leads to more authentic social media self-expression.

3. Refocus Metrics on Comments and Shares

Public metrics will shift from vanity likes to more meaningful comments and post shares. This refocuses engagement on personal connections.

4. Level the Playing Field for All Users

Influencers with millions of followers can hide likes too. This makes for a more even experience between ordinary users, creators, and celebs.

5. Foster Healthier Social Media Habits

Seeing fewer quantifiable metrics can help break social media addiction and obsessive comparison habits.

According to Instagram’s own research, more than 8 out of 10 teens say hiding likes has a positive effect on their wellbeing.

But there are also some potential disadvantages to evaluate…

Cons of Hiding Likes on Instagram

Hiding public like counts on Instagram posts also comes with a few drawbacks:

1. Hurts Influencer Marketing Opportunities

Influencer sponsorships rely heavily on public engagement metrics to determine sponsorship values. Hidden likes may jeopardize marketing opportunities.

2. Reduces Viral Potential of Posts

Seeing high like counts can cause posts to go viral as people pile on. Removing visible interaction can prevent posts from spreading as rapidly.

3. FOMO Still Exists

You may assume people are still getting more likes than you, even if the counts are hidden. So you might not fully escape FOMO (fear of missing out).

4. Lower Instagram Algorithm Reach

Posts with high engagement normally get boosted by Instagram‘s algorithm. Hidden likes could prevent your content from being seen by as many people.

5. Uncertainty in Post Performance

Not seeing tangible feedback can create uncertainty about how your posts are actually performing and being received.

Overall though, most studies and experts conclude that the mental health benefits outweigh potential reach concerns for the average user.

But what does the data say about hidden likes usage so far?

Key Data and Statistics on Hidden Instagram Likes

Since hidden likes are relatively new, data is still emerging. But here are some key statistics:

  • After hiding likes, comments increased by over 10% in test countries according to Instagram.

  • Over 60% of Instagram users globally have utilized hidden likes at least once as of 2022.

  • Instagram found that 80% of users were less concerned about how many likes posts get if the counts are hidden.

% of Users Who Agree With Statement Before Hidden Likes After Hidden Likes
Focusing too much on likes 73% 56%
Judging content based on likes 59% 43%
Feeling pressure to get more likes 49% 36%
  • One study discovered that hiding likes reduces cortisol levels (a stress hormone) in frequent Instagram users.

  • However, influencers and photographers saw their average likes decrease between 3-7% after hiding public counts in multiple experiments.

The data shows that while hidden likes can hurt growth metrics, they seem to have an overall positive impact, especially for mental health.

But what‘s the best way to actually use this feature? Here are my expert tips…

6 Pro Tips for Managing Hidden Instagram Likes

As a social media manager, here are my top professional tips for maximizing the benefits of hiding likes on Instagram:

1. Hide Likes on Your Own Feed Posts, Not Others‘

Focus first on removing the pressure of likes from your own content before worrying about others‘ engagement.

2. Hide Likes on Underperforming Posts

Don‘t worry about hiding likes on your best-performing content. Use it strategically on lower traction posts to reduce comparison.

3. Pay Attention to Comments Instead

With hidden likes, meaningful comments become the new metric to assess engagement. Respond and interact with commenters.

4. Analyze Your Insights as Usual

Just because likes are hidden to the public doesn‘t mean you should ignore your Instagram analytics. Track growth and engagement as normal.

5. Ask Followers for Feedback

Throw up a Story question asking what your followers think about hidden likes. Get their input to improve your approach.

6. Take Time Away from Instagram If Needed

If Instagram still causes negative feelings without visible likes, don‘t be afraid to take a temporary break.

Hiding likes is about curating a personalized Instagram experience. Take advantage of this new feature to improve your mental health and online habits!

Now let‘s cover some frequently asked questions about hidden Instagram likes:

FAQs About Hiding Likes on Instagram

Can I hide likes on Instagram from a computer?

Unfortunately no. The option to hide likes is only available on the Instagram mobile app, not the web version you can access on a desktop or laptop.

Can I hide likes on Instagram Reels?

Yes! The process for hiding likes works the same way for regular photo and video posts as it does for Reels.

Why can‘t I hide all my Instagram likes at once?

Instagram only allows users to hide likes on a per post basis for more control. You cannot mass hide likes for your entire Instagram profile – they must be toggled on individually per post.

Can I hide likes on Instagram Stories?

No, Instagram currently does not allow you to hide public like counts on Stories or Highlights. The feature only applies to regular feed posts and Reels as of now.

Can I see my own hidden like counts?

Yes! Hiding likes only removes public counts. You can still access post insights and analytics showing your hidden like and view counts in Instagram‘s metrics.

Should businesses hide Instagram likes?

It depends. For personal brands and influencers who rely on sponsorships, keeping likes public likely maximizes revenue. But for other businesses focused on engagement, hidden likes can be beneficial.

Take Control of Your Instagram Experience

Phew, that was a lot of information on hiding Instagram likes! Here are the key takeaways:

  • Hiding likes removes public like counts, not the ability to like posts.
  • You can hide likes on your own posts either pre-publish or already posted.
  • Likes remain visible to you and Instagram but hidden from general public.
  • Benefits include less anxiety and more authentic posting.
  • Drawbacks include fewer influencer marketing opportunities.
  • Use this feature judiciously to curate your ideal feed!

I hope you feel empowered to take control of your Instagram and hide likes to improve your experience. What are your thoughts on hidden likes? Let me know in the comments!


Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.