Can’t believe you’d do this to me, Elon: Internet melts down as X hides 'Likes' from public view

Hidden like count marks latest change since Elon Musk took over platform in 2022

Entertainment Desk June 13, 2024

In a move touted as a privacy enhancement, X (formerly Twitter) has made user "likes" private across its platform, the company announced earlier this week as reported by Associated Press. The social media giant's engineering team revealed in an update that ‘Likes’ would be concealed from public view, stating, "We will be making ‘Likes’ private for everyone to better protect your privacy."

The change, which took effect on Wednesday, means users can no longer view the "Likes" tab on others' profiles, limiting the visibility of this feature to one's own account. By afternoon on Wednesday, the 'Likes' tab had disappeared from view on all user profiles except for one's own, where it remained visible, according to reports from X users across the platform.

X encouraged more engagement through a pop-up notification, suggesting, "Liking more posts will make your 'For you' feed better." While the total number of likes on posts will still be publicly displayed, X has confirmed that only the original poster will have access to the specific list of accounts who liked their content. However, users will continue receiving notifications about like counts and other engagement metrics related to their own posts.

Previously, the option to conceal likes was exclusive to X's Premium subscribers. When the company (then Twitter) announced this feature in September, it stated users could "keep spicy likes private by hiding your likes tab."

The hidden like count marks another change since Elon Musk's $44 billion acquisition of the platform in 2022. Other notable updates include a rebranding with a new name and logo, the removal and subsequent restoration of blue verification checkmarks for non-Premium users.

X users riot

This change has sparked a mix of humour, frustration, and confusion among its users. "I don’t care that likes are hidden. They will come to me in a dream," one X user comically asserted while another captured the sentiment perfectly in a post that garnered over 41,000 likes. They humourously remarked, "Just went to stalk his likes and they’re gone." 

The post featured a nostalgic clip from the Spiderman cartoon series, where the superhero reaches out for the fading face of his lover, only to grasp at empty air. The dramatic animation underscored the user’s dismay, resonating with many who shared their thoughts in the quote replies.

Reactions poured in, reflecting a range of emotions. One user lamented, "Can’t believe you’d do this to me, Elon," expressing disbelief at the platform's latest change. Another user, clearly unsettled by the update, said, "There goes my morning news," highlighting how they used the likes feature to keep up with trending topics and updates from friends and influencers.

The sentiment of frustration was echoed by others. "This is so criminal," one user stated bluntly, while another confessed, "Sick to my stomach man," showing how deeply this change affected their online routine.

Some users took a more humourous approach. "Oh boy! Stalkers will be mad," one user quipped, pointing out that many people used the feature to keep tabs on others’ online activity. Similarly, another user joked, "I don’t know what to do as a hobby anymore," highlighting the extent to which people relied on this feature for entertainment.

The shock was palpable for many. "I’m starting to see stars I can’t believe my eyes," one user dramatically commented, emphasising the unexpected nature of the change. Another user voiced practical concerns, "It’s not even to stalk their likes - How am I supposed to know which account is a bot or just people with the same interests as me? This whole thing is pointless, because all I do on here is like tweets about dogs most of the time."

The removal of the likes view feature has clearly struck a chord with the X community, leaving many to ponder the future of their interactions on the platform. Whether this change will stand or be rolled back in the face of user backlash remains to be seen.

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