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X Confirms Plan to Make ‘Likes’ Private, Remove Likes Tab From Profiles

Social media platform X (formerly Twitter) will soon stop showing public “likes” on users’ profile pages, the company has said. The plan was confirmed on Wedndesday by X engineers, after MacRumors contributor Aaron Perris uncovered a flag in X’s iOS app revealing the coming change.

Perris found that turning off the flag completely removes the “Likes” tab from all user profiles. His discovery was shared on X, which was then reposted and subsequently confirmed by X engineers.

“Yeah, we are making likes private,” responded X’s director of engineering Haofei Wang. “Public likes are incentivizing the wrong behavior. For example, many people feel discouraged from liking content that might be ‘edgy’ in fear of retaliation from trolls, or to protect their public image.

“Soon you’ll be able to like without worrying who might see it,” Wang continued. “Also a reminder that the more posts you like, the better your For you algorithm will become,” he added.

To clear up some confusion among users, X senior software engineer Enrique Barragan also responded with a post, saying that users will still be able to see who liked their posts, as well as the like count for all posts, replies, and so on. The change involves hiding which posts other people liked, which means removing the Liked tab on public profiles.

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X Premium subscribers have been able to optionally hide the Likes tab on their profile, but the platform is set to take it away wholesale. It’s not clear when the change will be rolled out, but once it does, everyone on X, including owner Musk – who has received blowback in the past for liking controversial posts – will be able to like whatever they want without it being made public.

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