Elon Musk Makes Likes on Posts Private on X to Boost Engagement on Platform

Elon Musk Makes Likes on Posts Private on X

The Elon Musk-owned social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, has initiated a move to make likes on posts private, aiming to enhance user engagement. Initially restricted to premium subscribers, this feature is now being broadly introduced, becoming accessible to all platform users. Marketed by the platform as a measure to safeguard user privacy, private likes will obscure the identities of individuals who have liked a post.

Under this update, users will retain visibility of posts they have liked, while others will not. Additionally, users will be unable to view who has liked posts authored by others. However, post authors will retain visibility into who has liked their posts, and metrics such as like counts and other engagement indicators will still be visible under notifications.

This development follows Elon Musk‘s directive to X engineers to remove tweet action buttons and prioritize impressions. The concealment of likes is positioned as a means for users to manage their public image. Haofei Wang, Director of Engineering at X, confirmed the move in May, highlighting that public likes can incentivize negative behavior on the platform.

He noted that many users refrain from liking potentially controversial content to avoid backlash from trolls or to maintain their public image.

Enrique Barragan, senior software engineer, further clarified on X that users will still be able to see the number of posts and replies on their own posts, but likes from other users will not be visible.

Notably, likes influence the platform’s algorithm, shaping the content users are exposed to. This update is expected to lead to a more tailored timeline experience, aligning more closely with users’ interests.