Is Now The Time For WordPress To Remove The Number Of ‘Likes’ From View On All Blog Posts?

During my recent blogging break, I heard the news that Instagram is trialling (with some of its users’) the removal of the ability to see who has ‘liked’ a post and how many ‘likes’ the post has had. Only the author of the post will have access to the information.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Why are Instagram conducting the trial?

There are a number of reasons why the trial is being conducted but the main reasons are because some Instagram users reported that seeing too many ‘likes’ on a post made them feel demoralised.

In turn, some users went on to delete their account or develop ‘social media envy’ at seeing how well other users were doing compared to themselves. One user admitted that, for them, ‘the number of ‘likes’ was more important than the content’; in other words, they saw Instagram as more of a popularity contest.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Do you remember how you felt when your blog got its first ‘like?’

The news took me back to my early days of blogging and how I got excited if anybody ‘liked’ one of my blog posts. For me, a ‘like’ indicated that somebody had taken the time to read what I had written. Yes, somebody out there in the big wide world had taken a few minutes of their time to read and like something I had written.

It also motivated me to write more blog posts in the hope that they would attract even more ‘likes.’ Of course, if somebody also left a comment, that was a bonus!

As I grew the list of the blogs I followed, it wasn’t long before I realised that there was not enough time in my day to read, like and comment on all the blogs I followed. Given that some of the bloggers I followed were publishing new blog posts more than once a day, I was soon overwhelmed and found myself drowning in a sea of voices, all wanting my attention.

#blogging #attention #bloggers #socialmedia

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

Have you played the click-happy ‘like’ game?

Something I began doing was to ‘like’ a post without reading it. I thought that by doing this, it would indicate to the blogger (who had written the post) that I had read their post and they, in turn, would continue to read and ‘like’ my posts.

I soon found out that lots of other bloggers and readers were playing the game (I thought I was the only one playing) because they were all in the same boat as me. The ‘like’ button was being misused and not being used as it should be by some users.

Would you press the like button on a post that contained bad news or news of a death?

In February 2018, I published a blog post posing the question if it was time to remove the ‘like’ button from blogs? Click the link below to read it.

Is It Time To Remove The ‘Like’ Button From Your Blog?

The response I got was overwhelming. However, what shocked me was the contents of some of the comments. Some readers admitted that they left a ‘like’ even if they had not read the post. Why? Because it was ‘showing support’ for the blogger, who had written the post, even if they didn’t have time to read it.

Really? Liking a post without reading it is a way to support a blogger?

Sometimes, we have to admit defeat, and just get on with it!

At the time I published the post, I also removed the ‘like’ button from my blog. Some readers commented that they missed seeing the like button on my blog but didn’t say why.

Unfortunately, what I didn’t know was that on WordPress, the ‘like’ button is connected to the ‘reblog’ button. Removing it also removed the ‘reblog’ button from all of my posts.

Despite my protests to WordPress about the unusual connection between the two buttons, they were not going to change anything, so I reluctantly reinstalled the ‘like’ button to get the ‘reblog’ button back. After all, most of us bloggers want our posts to get shared, don’t we?

Just because somebody hasn’t ‘liked’ your post, doesn’t mean they’ve not read it.

#bloggingtips #blogging

Image Credit: Pixabay

Are you as ‘click-happy’ as I once was?

In the past, you may have seen my Gravatar at the bottom of lots of blog posts indicating that I had ‘liked’ the post despite whether I had read it or not.

Then again, you may also have seen my Gravatar at the bottom of a post indicating that I had ‘liked’ the post even if I hadn’t particularly been interested in the contents. Why was I ‘liking’ blog posts that I hadn’t particularly enjoyed reading?

#blogging #socialmedia
Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

Part of the blogging plan (I put together during my recent blogging break) is to stop ‘liking’ so many blog posts. Now, you’ll only see my gravatar next to the ‘like’ button if the post has been an enjoyable and interesting read.

It’ll also get a ‘like’ if it has given me ‘food for thought’, connected with me, made me say ‘Wow’ after reading it, evoked emotion, stopped me in my tracks, or made me leave a comment that isn’t empty or more than a couple of words long. After all, isn’t that why the ‘like’ button is there?

Are you somebody who presses the ‘like’ button on the majority of the blog post you read, or on the majority of blog post published by certain bloggers?

Do you take any notice of the Gravatar icons next to the ‘like’ button?

I don’t anymore. That’s why I hope the trial at Instagram goes well and convinces them that the ‘like’ button is of little use other than to that of the person whose post it is.

In my opinion, the ‘like’ button is something that serves little purpose other than to the person who wrote the post. I’d go as far as to say that the ‘like’ button found at the end of blog posts should disappear for good.

I do know that not everyone misuses the ‘like’ button. There are many readers who do read the whole post before pressing the ‘like’ button. However, remember there are many other ways we can support a blogger than becoming ‘like’ clicking-happy.

For example, once in a while, leave a blogger a comment that isn’t meaningless or one that they and others may see as an empty comment.

Don’t become a ‘comment spammer’ by leaving empty comments in the hope that you’ll get comments back on your posts. There’s no point in commenting for a comment’s sake, is there?

Why do some bloggers press the ‘like’ button on their own blog posts?

If you’re someone who says that you don’t always have time to leave comments, rather than spend small amounts of time leaving empty comments on lots of posts, use the time you save not leaving them by leaving an occasional comment that adds value to the post. Most bloggers will value that far more than lots of comments that add no value.

More Questions.

When, and for what reasons, do you use the ‘like’ button on WordPress? Do/have you ever misused it, and would you miss it if WordPress removed it from all WordPress blogs?

Before you answer any of my questions or leave a comment, this is what WordPress say about the ‘like’ button.

Let’s say you’ve found a particularly awesome post on WordPress.com. You’d like to tip your hat to the author and give him or her credit. At the bottom of the post, you see the Like button. Press it, and the author will know that you have acknowledged an exceptional, phenomenal blog post.

WordPress.com

Please feel free to answer any of the questions I have asked throughout this post by leaving me a comment. I look forward to hearing what you have to say.

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Author: Hugh W. Roberts

My name is Hugh. I live in the city of Swansea, South Wales, in the United Kingdom. My blog covers a wide range of subjects, the most popular of which are my blogging tips posts. If you have any questions about blogging or anything else, please contact me by clicking on the 'Contact Hugh' button on the menu bar. Click on the 'Meet Hugh' button on the menu bar to learn more about me and my blog.

230 thoughts

  1. I ‘like’ every blog post I read all the way through. I do this for 2 reasons: 1st, if a post doesn’t hold my attention, offends me, is poorly written, etc, I’m not going to finish it–so I truly did like it. 2nd, because I wish people would do that for me. I have 3000 wordpress followers, but I only get about 100 views per post and up to 30 likes. The automatic email notifications that WP sends out are of the whole post, not just a blurb (I can’t figure out how to just turn it into a blurb) so maybe many more are reading the post in their email browser. I have absolutely no idea how well read my blog is. I know it really doesn’t matter, I write because I want to write, and I write about any topic that pops into my head. But boy those likes feel nice.

    Plus, recently, I’ve been clicking on the avatars of likes on other people’s posts and finding some really good blogs.

    1. You’re using that ‘like’ button for the very reason it was created, Jeff.

      I would not concern yourself too much about the number of followers. In my early days of blogging, I was told that only around 20% of your followers will engage with you by way of a comment or a ‘like.’ What matters is that you enjoy writing and blogging and that you’re communicating with those that leave you comments. For me, one comment equals 100 ‘likes.’

      Here’s a link to one of my previous posts about a setting on WordPress you can activate so that your whole post does not show in the email notification. I hope it helps?

      https://hughsviewsandnews.com/2016/09/05/how-to-instantly-get-more-traffic-to-your-blog/

      Personally, I no longer take any notice of who has pressed the ‘like’ button on any of my posts. However, if somebody leaves some comments on any of my posts which add value and prove they’ve read it, I will sometimes check out their blog. It does also depend on how many blogs I’m already following. I have a limit which I stick with; otherwise, it can become overwhelming.

      1. Wow, thanks Hugh. I’ll check out your link. And then I’ll fret about whether it’s the right thing to do for weeks, and then I’ll write a blog post about it and get mixed responses… You’re clearly farther along the evolutionary scale if you can ignore your likes.

        1. I’ve written about the ‘like’ button several times, Jeff. In the comments, some readers and bloggers told me that click ‘like’ regardless of whether they read the post or not. Some even said they only clicked ‘like’ just to say they’ve seen the post even though they haven’t read it. Then some said they press ‘like’ on everything because it’s a free marketing tool and they may get some new followers from it. I was rather shocked by what was being said. It was the point at which I turned off all my ‘like’ notifications and stopped taking any notice of who had clicked the button. I did remove the ‘like’ button from my blog, but unfortunately, when you remove it, the reblog button also disappears.

          However, I think the majority of people do use the ‘like’ button for the purpose it’s there.

  2. I also removed the ‘like’ button until I realised – like you – that it was lllinked to the ‘Reblog’ button. However, I have on several occasions been unable ot think of a comment worth making, although I have read and enjoyed the post so I do, occasionally, click on ‘Like’ without leaving a comment. (Although I view it as something of a ‘cop-out.)
    What I find completely ridiculous though is the option to Like a post in an email that only reproduces the first lines of it.

    1. Yes, and the same goes in the WordPress Reader, which only displays the first 55 words of a post, yet you can still click on the ‘like’ button. What’s that all about?

      I don’t think there is anything wrong with pressing ‘like’ on a post you’ve read and enjoyed because that’s the whole purpose of the ‘like’ button. Like you, I do the same if I have enjoyed reading a post but don’t have anything of value to add. It’s when the ‘like’ button is pushed without having even read the post that gets me. After all, I wouldn’t write a review or recommend a book I haven’t read, so why would I do the same for a blog post?

      Thank you for adding to the discussion, Cathy.

  3. I don’t know what to make of whether to like or not. I do live to read blogs but often get overwhelmed. I tend to maybe speed read a few or like then return to comment later. I am not keen on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram..but often I like what I have read but don’t always have anything relevant to say. There is food for thought here….I am thinking. 💜

    1. Getting overwhelmed with thinking you need to read all the blog posts of the blogs you follow is a slippery slope to making blogging stressful and making one feel guilty, Willow. It happened to me many years ago. I almost gave up blogging because of it. Then I changed the way I blogged, and I’m glad to say I’m still here.

      There’s nothing wrong in clicking ‘like’ if you’ve read the post and enjoyed it, just as there is no problem in not feeling you have to leave a comment. Now, I read blog posts when I can. If I don’t get to all of them then so be it. And I decided to only leave a comment if I truly had something of value to add. It certainly helped me get myself out of a hole I was digging myself more deeply into.

  4. Wow, I wish I’d written this, Hugh. I just finished editing my simple book, So You Think You Can Blog? so Yvette can link it to my interview post she is writing. For my next edit, this would be not only a great link but part of a great chapter. We might talk about collaborating on a book if you haven’t written one like this already. 🙂

    1. The idea of writing and publishing a blogging tips book has been suggested to me a few times, Marsha. However, I’ve never really considered it. I rather enjoy publishing blogging tips on my blog so that readers can comment and ask questions. As you can see by the number of comments left on this post, I enjoy the engagement.

      I’m agree that the ‘like’ button could make up a whole chapter, though.

  5. I would like the like button gone too. Something I have felt since last year and raised in a blog post this year but in WordPress reader, the like button is still there regardless if I choose to remove it from my own, or not and I think the reader should relect the blog and like button should disappear if removed from the blog. But I have read WordPress are not in any plans to do this.

    1. I don’t see WordPress making any plans in removing the ‘like’ button. Now I just choose to ignore the ‘like’ button altogether. I never check who has clicked on it on my blog or on the blog of anybody else. It should never matter who has and who has not pressed ‘like.’ What’s more important is ensuring we always write and publish good quality and engaging content that will keep readers coming back.

      1. I don’t see WordPress doing it either.
        I can see me leaving WordPress beginning of next year, because with changes they are now doing, I haven’t been happy for a long time now.
        Time will tell by end of this year. But I would really like this changing or creating a block when it comes to followers, not just remove as it is.

        1. Yes, I agree. As far as I’m aware, you can only currently block somebody from leaving any comments on your blog posts. You can unsubscribe them, but there’s nothing to stop them from following you again.

          I’m sorry to hear you’re thinking of leaving WordPress.

        2. Yes, that’s right. That’s all you can do.

          So far, all quiet since removing like button off my blog. But time will tell in long run and whether person keeps attempting to re-follow.

  6. I removed the “Like” button from my blog. A Like doesn’t mean anything. And I’m so glad that Instagram turned off the Like count. Like4Like is ridiculous. I don’t want all of my posts, here or on Instagram, to get the same number of likes and comments. I’d rather know what people really like, if they’re reading my Instagram captions (which are long), and if they come to my blog when I promote a new post on Instagram.

    I remember you had a similar post a long time ago and we talked about removing the Like button. You said you were keeping it for the ping backs.

    1. Yes, that’s correct. After finding out that you also lose the reblog button when removing the ‘like’ button, I decided to reinstall the ‘like’ button. However, I take no notice of who has clicked the ‘like’ button on any of my posts or those on other blogs. Like you, I think the ‘like’ button serves little purpose, especially after finding out that some readers click ‘like’ without even reading the post.

      1. Yes, I remember we had this conversation when I decided to turn off the like button. You told me that I would lose the reblog button. Good conversations and comments are memorable.

  7. As a relatively new blogger, I prefer having the likes visible. It serves as a score card for me to look at a post from a year ago and compare it to one today. I know I can achieve the same thing by reviewing the blog stats, but for now, I enjoy the visual motivation that things are going in the right direction. I hope I will get to a point that it no longer matters and I can feel secure without it.The comments and interaction with others is really what really keeps me going anyway. I can honestly say that I have NEVER liked a post that I have not read. A like without a comment from me means that either I have nothing supportive or positive to say about the post or that I simply did not have time to collect my thoughts. Some of my favorite bloggers sneak in a political post from time to time and even though I may read them completely, I do not comment. I prefer positive, uplifting, instructive and informative posts, not one-sided political commentary. I enjoyed reading another thought provoking post about a subject that resonates with all bloggers. Thanks!

    1. For me, a ‘like’ doesn’t necessarily mean somebody has read a post. I’ve witnessed people pressing the ‘like’ button on lots of blogs posts within seconds of each other. I’ve also heard firsthand at how readers’ click the ‘like’ button on the WordPress readers without so much as opening the post.

      Of course, the number of visitors to a blog also does not prove that they have stayed and/or read any posts. On the other hand, comments confirm that a blog post has been read (providing it’s not a dead comment such as ‘great post’ which does not prove the post has been read). Just like clicking the ‘like’ button on every post, I’ve seen some bloggers leave the same ‘great post’ comment on hundreds of blog posts.

      However, the most important thing to remember is to ensure that blogging is always fun and enjoyable. Do that, Suzanne, and you’ll be on the right track.

  8. I agree! The Likes need to go. They don’t actually produce much value. I know a lot of bloggers who shove their posts out onto groups to trade “Likes” and I know that those posts aren’t being read.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    1. I can’t understand why bloggers would want to trade ‘likes’ without reading the posts first and actually ‘liking’ what they’ve read. That’s almost as bad as reviewing a book you’ve not read. It just does not add up. This just goes to prove that WordPress is becoming more and more like Facebook in certain areas.

      I don’t know why, but your comment ended up in my WordPress spam folder. Not sure why. It may be just a one-off, but you may like to check if it’s happening on other blogs where you leave comments.

  9. I will not “like” a post I did not read. And I would not want anyone “liking” my posts without reading them either.

    Every blogger wants to be noticed. Why else would we do this? But speaking only for myself, I do not want “likes and follows” just because I like or follow someone else’s blog. I read other bloggers only because I enjoy them and they say something relevant to me. If they do not read my blog in return, thats ok.

    One problem that I have with the WordPress system (and I’ve mentioned this before) is that it has evolved into a glorified form of Facebook where the same circles of people “like and Follow” each other just for the sake of mutual assistance in pumping up numbers. This is why I spend a lot of effort promoting my blog outside of WordPress. I want everyday regular people to read my work, not just other bloggers. Sure you can have ten billion “followers” but how many of them actually read your articles?

    My electronics/renewable energy blog is very influential and pulls in A LOT of visitors but has very few official followers. Almost all of my traffic comes from outside of WordPress.

    I’m a little behind in my blog-reading, Hugh. But I’m glad you’re back and think of you as a neighbor.

    1. I’m with you all way regarding parts of WordPress becoming like Facebook, Chris. I left Facebook over two years ago to get away from the ‘you like my post, and I’ll like your post’ brigade. Now, it seems to have followed me to WordPress. If I’d wanted that, I’d had stayed with Facebook. However, I’m doing all I can to try and get away from it.

      I agree. The number of followers or ‘likes’ doesn’t prove that a blog post has been read, or even that followers keep coming back. Just from some of the comments on this post, readers admit to pressing ‘like’ without reading the post. I’m still scratching my head as to why anybody would ‘like’ a post without having read it first. I really can not see how it benefits the author of the post at all. I have asked questions to some of those commentators, but nobody has come back to me.

      It’s great to hear from you, Chris. I hope all is well with you?

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