X Makes Likes Private to Protect User Privacy

X Makes Likes Private to Protect User Privacy

X, formerly known as Twitter, has announced a change in how likes on posts are handled. The social media platform will now make users’ liked posts private, addressing concerns about users facing backlash for their online preferences.

The update was revealed through the X Engineering account, which clarified that while users will still be able to view their own liked posts, these will no longer be visible to others. Authors of posts will maintain like counters and have access to the identities of those who liked their posts, but detailed lists of other users’ likes will no longer be accessible.

Elon Musk, Owner and Executive Chairman of X, supported the decision in a separate post, emphasizing the importance of allowing users to express their appreciation for content without fear of reprisal. “It’s crucial to let people like posts without getting attacked for it,” Musk stated, highlighting the platform’s commitment to fostering a safer online environment.

Despite the positive intent behind the change, it has sparked a mixed response among X’s user base, particularly among creators and paying subscribers. Critics argue that the new privacy feature impedes their ability to track post engagement accurately and raises concerns about potential platform manipulation through paid likes. For many creators, the visibility of likes is a vital metric for gauging audience engagement and content performance.

However, the shift could encourage more authentic interactions on the platform. With the assurance of privacy, users might feel more comfortable engaging with content, knowing they won’t be subjected to public scrutiny or harassment for their likes.

This change also comes at a crucial time for X, which has faced financial challenges since its rebranding and restructuring in 2023. The company introduced a premium subscription tier as a strategy to compensate for declining ad revenues. The introduction of private likes for all users potentially diminishes one of the key incentives for subscribing to the premium service, raising questions about the future viability of this revenue model.

In response to the evolving digital landscape and user demands, X’s latest move underscores a broader trend towards prioritizing user privacy and security. While it may disrupt traditional engagement tracking methods, it represents a step towards a more user-centric social media experience.

As the platform navigates these changes, the impact on user behavior and overall engagement will be closely monitored. Whether this privacy enhancement will ultimately foster a more positive online community or pose new challenges for content creators remains to be seen.