SOCIAL MEDIA

What happened to the likes? X is now hiding which posts you like from other users

Jun 12, 2024, 4:02 PM

File - Workers install lighting on an "X" sign atop the company headquarters, formerly known as Twi...

File - Workers install lighting on an "X" sign atop the company headquarters, formerly known as Twitter, in San Francisco, on July 28, 2023. Before it transformed into X, Twitter was the place to turn to for live and reliable information about big news events, from wars to natural disasters. But as the Israel-Hamas war has underscored, that is no longer the case. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Noah Berger, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Social media platform X is now hiding your likes.

In an update posted on the platform formerly known as Twitter earlier this week, X’s engineering team said it would be “making Likes private for everyone to better protect your privacy.” That means that users will still be able to see their own likes, but others will not — putting an end to a feature that many had long used.

The change went into effect Wednesday. As of the afternoon, the “Likes” tab appeared to only be available on users’ own profile page. But when visiting other accounts, that tab is no longer available.

Former Twitter execs sue Elon Musk over severance payments

Users also received a pop-up notification that seemed to suggest the change would result in more user engagement.

“Liking more posts will make your ‘For you’ feed better,” the message read.

According to the engineering team’s update, like counts and other metrics for a user’s own posts will still show up under notifications. Posts still appear to show how many likes they have — but the author will be the only person who can see a list of those who liked it.

The option to hide likes was previously just available to paying Premium subscribers. When X announced that option in September, it said users could “keep spicy likes private by hiding your likes tab.”

A look back at Elon Musk’s first year owning Twitter, in tweets

The hidden like count is one of many changes that have come to the platform since billionaire Elon Musk purchased it for $44 billion in 2022. Beyond a new name and logo, other changes include doing away with the once-coveted blue checks for non-Premium users — and then restoring them to some.

The in-app changes have seen mixed receptions on the platform. In the early days of X stripping the verification badges from prominent officials and news organizations, for example, many voiced misinformation concerns. The platform has also faced both rising user and advertiser pushback amid ongoing concerns about content moderation and hate speech on the San Francisco-based platform, which some researchers say has been on the rise under Musk.

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What happened to the likes? X is now hiding which posts you like from other users