Social networking giant Facebook on Wednesday said it will now allow users on its platform as well as those on Instagram to hide their public 'like' counts.
This is part of the company's efforts to give people control over their experience, a statement said.
"We tested hiding like counts to see if it might depressurise 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 for what's trending or popular, so we're giving you the choice," it said.
Everyone on Instagram and Facebook will now have the option to hide their public 'like' counts so that they can decide what works for them.
The social media giant said it is looking for more ways to give people control over their experience.
This includes new tools that allow people to filter offensive content from their DMs and give them ways to control what they see and share on Facebook's News Feed.
Users can hide 'like' counts on others' posts by visiting the new posts section in settings.
This control applies to all the posts in a user's feed.
"You can also choose to hide like counts before sharing a post.
"You can turn this setting on or off, even after it goes live.
"People want more flexibility, so we thought it would be important to give people the option.
"In the next few weeks you will see both of these controls come to Facebook," the statement said.
The company said it has been working closely with third-party experts to better understand how to empower people, build self-awareness and shape a more positive experience on Instagram.
"We're also funding more external research about people's experiences on Instagram, and how we can improve our policies and products to support our community.
"We're currently requesting research proposals from global academics and non-profits," it added.
The company said it has recently collaborated with the Young Leaders for Active Citizenship (YLAC) in India to initiate the fifth edition of the 'Counter Speech Fellowship', a programme that engages creative teens to use the power of visual storytelling to start meaningful conversations on issues that are important to young citizens around the world.
This includes the themes of bullying, diversity, mental wellbeing and gender equality.
Photograph: Dado Ruvic/Reuters