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X Update: Twitter Likes Are Now Private


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X’s recent update to hide ‘likes’ on users’ posts marks a significant shift in the platform’s approach to user interaction. With this update, X, formerly known as Twitter, has made ‘likes’ now private, effectively altering the way users engage with content on the platform. This change comes amidst a series of updates implemented by X under the leadership of Elon Musk, who views it as an important step towards reshaping the dynamics of user interaction.

Under the new policy, users will no longer be able to see which posts others have liked. Instead, they will only have visibility into the posts they have liked themselves. This move, described by Musk as an “important change,” aims to enhance user privacy and encourage more authentic engagement with content. Haofei Wang, X’s director of engineering, highlighted how the previous visibility of likes sometimes deterred users from engaging with certain content due to concerns over public perception or potential backlash.

This alteration comes amidst broader debates about online safety, privacy, and the impact of social media on public discourse. By hiding ‘likes,’ X is addressing concerns about the negative psychological effects associated with seeking validation through public metrics. Studies have indicated that visible metrics like ‘likes’ can contribute to feelings of anxiety, pressure to conform, and even addiction among users. Therefore, this shift reflects X’s commitment to prioritizing user well-being while balancing the demands for engagement and content visibility.

Critics, however, have raised concerns about these policy shifts, accusing Musk of fostering an environment conducive to hate speech and misinformation under the guise of promoting free speech. Despite criticism, X has continued to evolve its guidelines, recently formalizing rules to permit the sharing of consensual and clearly labeled sexualized content.

As X navigates these changes, the response from users and stakeholders will likely shape the platform’s future direction in the evolving landscape of digital communication. Musk’s acquisition of X in late 2022 has ushered in a series of updates aimed at redefining the platform experience. While these changes have sparked controversy, they also signal X’s commitment to adapt to societal expectations and user feedback.

In conclusion, X’s decision to hide ‘likes’ underscores its ongoing efforts to redefine its platform experience and address concerns about user well-being. As the platform continues to iterate on its policies, its approach to privacy and user experience will likely evolve in response to its user base’s evolving needs and expectations.

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