Facebook announced on Wednesday that Instagram and Facebook users would soon have the option to hide their public like counts.

In a statement, Facebook said it had tested hiding like counts to see if it could “depressurize people’s experience on Instagram.”

“What we heard from people and experts was that not seeing like counts was beneficial for some and annoying to others, particularly because people use like counts to get a sense of what’s trending or popular, so we’re giving you the choice,” the statement read.

Facebook first tested hiding like counts on Instagram in 2019 and began anew last month.

According to Facebook, this feature will allow users to focus on the photos or videos being shared instead of the number of likes a post can gain.

Users will be able to hide like counts of both their posts and other users’ posts on their feeds.

This move was meant to address the growing concerns over the effect that like counts have on users’ mental health.

In an interview with “Buzzfeed News” in 2019, the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, said the removal of like counts was about creating a “less pressurized environment” and make users feel comfortable expressing themselves.

“We do hear people worry about how many like counts they get,” he said.

Facebook is also collaborating with experts and creators to “better understand how to empower people, build self-awareness and shape a more positive experience on Instagram.”

“Changing the way people view like counts is a big shift. We’ll continue working on new ways to give people more choice, so they feel good about the time they spend on our apps,” Facebook said.

According to the annual report by We Are Social in partnership with Hootsuite and Global Web Index, Facebook (96.8 percent) was the second most used social media platform in the Philippines in January 2021, followed by Facebook Messenger (92.1 percent) and Instagram (73.4 percent). Youtube topped the list with 97.2 percent. Charlene Grace Lao