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.

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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.

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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 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.

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.

Copyright © 2019 – All rights reserved.

#Glimpses #books #shortstories

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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.

211 thoughts

  1. Hi Hugh,
    1. I don’t know how I feel. I am glad Instagram is giving up the likes. However, I think WordPress should have them. Why? I can’t tell you. Your post had me coming and going about the situation.
    2. Congratulations! This post won the Inspire Me Monday Linky Party. You’ll be featured on my blog tomorrow.

    1. Coming and going? I’m glad my question had you like that, Janice. I think what Instagram is doing is fantastic, especially if it helps others. I like the idea of only the author of the post being able to see who pressed ‘like’ on their post.

      That’s great news about my post winning. Thanks so much for the great news.

      Have a lovely week.

  2. I enjoy having the like button because it shows me when my blogger friends are active, and I don’t like a post until after I finish reading it. However, sometimes I like a post before I read it, because I know it will be good.

    This is interesting to talk about because we really focus on the amount of likes a post has, and we judge posts before we read them. 😑

    1. I think you’ve hit on something I didn’t mention in this post, Queenie. Does the number of likes a post gets mean it’s worth reading? Given that many readers and bloggers press the ‘like’ button even without reading the post, I’m not so sure it does. Likewise, I’ve come across some wonderfully written posts that only have a few ‘likes’. Also, as somebody who is not a lover of poetry, I wouldn’t leave a ‘like’ on a blog post that contains poetry, yet those that do like poetry may leave a ‘like.’ This is why I think the trial Instagram is doing is something I hope is adopted throughout the worlds of social media and blogging.

  3. I remember you posting about your dislike of the like button in the past, Hugh. I did not know about that connection between the like and reblog buttons. That’s surprising.
    I’ve had so many Internet problems lately that I’m slower than ever to keep up with everyone. Sorry to be late to the party. Hugs on the wing.

  4. I was intrigued to read this post, Hugh. I also clicked on the link (and yes, I read both fully lol!!!) And what great posts they both are, every blogger needs to read them.
    You know well my struggles, but I think I’ve finally come to that place of managing blogging just the way I want to and can manage while finishing my book. And of course, managing the rest of life.
    You make such great points. I didn’t know Instragram are considering removing the ‘like’ button. I’m not on Instagram yet, but plan on considering it in the not distant future. Also, I found it fascinating reading all the responses about the different ways bloggers use the ‘like’ button. It dawned on me then, for the first time in well over 6 years blogging, I have always ‘liked’ and commented in depth on every blog post I read. More rabbit than Sainsbury’s lol! I’ve never used the reader because I don’t like it, so I was getting inundated with emails. Something had to give big time!!!
    That’s why I burnt out, no way can anyone keep that up. You helped me so much a while back not to worry about visiting every post. I gradually gave myself permission that it was okay and I woulnd’t lose my blogging friends. That it wasn’t based on whether or not I liked or commented on their blogs. They (you) understood, and I could visit, read and comment in depth when I was/am able, because for me, blogging is all about the interaction and genuinely being interested in what’s being read.
    I got a bit hung up on the ‘likes’ when I first cut back on blogging, noticing I was getting less. But my core followers, readers and friends like you continue to visit and read and comment and knowing I still have my amazing community means more to me than all those other likes. Some though do ‘like’ regularly and comment now and then. I do believe they are reading my posts, but maybe not. I wonder how that would change if there was no ‘like’ button?
    Anyway, this is such a helpful post, Hugh. No wonder you’ve had such a great response. Taking that pressure off ourselves so blogging can still be enjoyable is vital and posts like this go a long way to helping us not get so hung up on numbers. Very important to remember that, thank you!

    1. Yes, I wonder how much reading habits would change if there were no ‘like’ button or it was not available to see by anyone other than the author of the post, Sherri? I’ve said this many times (and I’m going to tell it again), but I can’t get my head around why anyone would press the ‘like’ button on a post having never read it. It doesn’t make sense to me. There are a few comments with reasons why people do it, but some of my questions to those bloggers have gone unanswered. That’s a real shame because it could really open up the door to something we may all be missing.

      I’m so pleased that you took on the advice that it’s impossible to read and comment on every single blog post of the blogs you follow. Most bloggers realise and understand the position many of us find ourselves in. Those that don’t are not worth any of our time. As you rightly say in your comments, blogging should always be about fun and enjoyment. It should never be allowed to become a chore, make us feel guilty, or make our lives stressful. Been there and got the teeShirt. It’s not a nice place.

      For me, comments which add value to what I’ve written and which prove the post has been read are worth a million ‘likes.’ I don’t take any notice of who ‘likes’ any of my posts, nor do I take note of those who ‘like’ the posts of other bloggers. Just because somebody else has liked a post does not always mean that they’ve read it or that I will find it interesting. Hook me in by leaving an eye-catching blog post title or an opening paragraph that will guarantee I’ll read to the end.

      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with us on the subject of this post, Sherri.

      1. My pleasure, Hugh. You’ve sparked a lively and thoroughly interesting conversation. I can only think that some bloggers ‘like’ when not reading in the hopes we’ll think they’ve read it and then we’ll go over to their blogs. But those days are well over for those of us who don’t buy into it. I meant to say too, something that happened to me in my very early blogging months. A lot of bloggers ‘followed’ me, and I would go to their blog and, for the most part (unless the blog was obviously a spam blog or not one I was remotely interested in) follow them back and leave a comment on their ‘About’ page to thank them for following me and complimenting them on their blog. To be friendly. Big mistake! Many would then promptly unfollow me!!!! I caught on to that one fast! Anyway…the ups and downs of blogging, eh? Great chatting with you, Hugh, fab post! xxx

        1. That still happens today, Sherri. And I hear of so many bloggers who say they visit, read and leave comments on somebody’s blog who has just followed them. It is, as you say, often a trap and the blogger concerned will unfollow you. They are ‘number hunters.’ I’m lucky in that I seem to get lots of new followers every week, but probably only about 5% of them will leave a comment after pressing the ‘follow’ button. The others follow and say nothing, although some may comment later. For most bloggers, less than 20% of their followers will ever leave a comment.

          Thanks again for joining in on this discussion, Sherri.

        2. Hi Hugh…returning after the weekend. I’m not surprised it still happens. It really is a numbers game for many, which don’t mean an awful lot in the grand scheme of things. I’m not surprised it comes down to less than 20%. Social media is a funny old game, isn’t it? Great chatting as always with you, Hugh. Have a great week and I’ll be in touch soon! 🙂 xxx

        3. Yes, I agree, Social media is a funny old game, but how many of us have let it almost rule our lives? I recently watch an episode of ‘Black Mirror’ that had the theme of ‘Can’t take my eyes off you.’ Needless to say, it gave such an honest opinion of how social media affects humans. One to watch out for, Sherri.

        4. So true, Hugh. That is the danger. I adore ‘Black Mirror’. I’m way behind with the new episodes, pretty sure I haven’t seen that one, or I would remember. Need to check it out. I did see the one about everyone rating the other with a phone for absolutely everything. The thought made me feel quite disturbed, yet we are actually not so far from that reality. I only realised the other day that Uber give ratings which affects whether or not they pick you up and how much to charge!!! At least that’s my understanding…maybe I’ve got that wrong, but horrifying thought if so. Stick to good old fashioned black cabbies, that’s what I say. They have the ‘Knowledge’ and also they know how to strike up some very interesting conversations. Anyway…I digress. We could chat all day! Heading over to my guest post now to catch up. Have a great rest of the week, Hugh. Will be in touch. Big hugs… xxx

  5. I often click “like” on a post to remind myself that I have been there. It’s sort of a “breadcrumb” for me. If I click on a post that I absolutely disagree with, or if it is too boring to read through to the end, I will just slip away without clicking the “like” button. Thanks for another engaging post on blogging. I learn something every time I read one of your posts! 🙂

  6. I removed the Like button for the same reason – because I found more people left a comment when they didn’t have the option to ‘Like’. I didn’t realise it also affected the ‘re-blog’ but now I look it isn’t there. (Not that I expect I would get many). I may have to think again…
    Thanks for the heads-up.

  7. Wow Hugh,
    You’ve blinded me with ‘word press’ science! I agree with your comments as I think the whole show is becoming like Facebook or twitter or Instagram, then again some bloggers are using all platforms. Quantity seems to be the operative word.
    My quasi blogging break is giving me the chance to reflect on the whole show.
    What synchronicity as I was just going to message you regarding ‘followers’ with either a name and just a gravitar & no blog to link into or followers with no names but have blogs e.g. yoga site ‘followed’ my blog today. This group of people neither leave a like or a comment?? Beginning to get on my pip.
    Hope all is well with you Hugh, all ok here 🙂🌂☔️

    1. A few other readers have mentioned that WordPress is becoming a little like Facebook, Margaret. I see evidence of what you all say and hope it doesn’t become too much like Facebook. I think the fact that WordPress is the biggest blogging platform in the world will hopefully mean that the Facebook area will be only a tiny part in one of its corners. I hope it stays that way.

      The trouble with being active on too many social media and blogging platforms is that you have to spread yourself thinly. I’ve always believed that quality outweighs quantity and have never been proved wrong…yet. 😀

      Many bloggers forget to attach the details of their blog to their Gravatar. They either don’t know how to do it or have never thought about doing it. It does make visiting those new to our blogs difficult. As for followers who never leave a like or a comment, many will only have followed you in the hope that you will follow them back. If you do, some will then unfollow you. It’s more about a numbers game to them. I’ve found that those types of bloggers don’t usually hang around for long. We then get yet another abandoned blog in the blogosphere.

      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with us on the subject of this post. Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

      1. Hi Hugh,
        Nice to hear from you and somehow missed your message which somehow captures the essence of my ‘struggle’.
        I deactivated my Facebook account on Monday with an option to deactivate. Your response makes complete sense and I will read it again later.
        Thanks again and have a wonderful weekend.
        Take care.

  8. Well you and I have discussed publishing and a post, especially a long narrative or one laden with photos, and someone likes it hot off the press. I wish I could go in and remove that like just to say “I’m not stupid – there’s no way you read that post that quickly!”

    1. Wouldn’t that be a great thing to be able to do, Linda? Another idea is for the ‘like’ button to remain ghosted out for at least a couple of minutes after a post has been opened before it can be pressed. That would surely stop a lot of the click-happy ‘like’ brigade.

  9. Hi, Hugh – Thank you for this very thought-provoking post. I have never really understood the WP Like Button. I didn’t have it installed in my first three years of blogging. I do have one now, but seldom check it, so will likely uninstall it once again. What I love most about blogging is the dialogue — comments are much more important to me – whether they be on my blog, on FB, on text, or mentioned to me IRL. I also often read posts without commenting or pressing like, not because I didn’t like the post (quite the opposite) but often because I was still reflecting on what was written.

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us about the ‘like’ button, Donna. Yes, I’m somewhat alarmed by the number of people who say that they ‘like’ a post without reading it. For some, it seems to be a way of supporting the blogger of the post without leaving a comment. I can totally see why that would be if the post had been read, but to press ‘like without having read the post is something I still can not get my head around. Looks as if it will remain a mystery (unless somebody comes up with an excellent reason as to why it happens). It’s a little like pressing ‘like’ on your own blog posts. Why do some bloggers do that? I hope we get the answers.

    2. Hi Hugh (and Donna – I think by placing my response here Donna and Hugh can see comment?) Donna from Retirement Reflections spoke highly about your blog site and I can see why. An informative and thought-provoking post. Right now I fit under the category of “the more I learn, the more I realize that I don’t know” (Einstein). I think I may have had it all wrong. I thought the “like” button actually meant that you read the article and “liked” the post. I also find I will read through the responses and acknowledge with a “like” that I have read a comment/response and I concur with the person commenting on a post, especially with the Meet Up post, Donna. I find the comments often do not require a response.

      I agree with Donna, how the dialogue is the interesting and fun part of blogging.

      Another thing I may have wrong is I was under the impression that the bloggers monetizing their blogs benefited from actual “likes.” Therefore, when I read their blogs, I want to support their site. As I said in the beginning “…..I don’t know.” A fascinating and controversial topic. I would have pressed the “like” button on some more of the responses in this post, although, now I don’t know what to do:) I will try not to overthink this topic, although, it may be too late:) I enjoyed reading some of your other topics last night. I am glad I found your site, Hugh. Thank you, Donna:)

      1. Hi Erica,

        I must begin by thanking Donna for recommending my blog to you. That is high praise, indeed.

        Yes, Donna will be able to see your comment. If she also ticked the ‘Notify me of new comments via email’ box (when leaving her comment), she’ll also get an email notification of your comment.

        I’m so pleased that this post has been thought-provoking for many readers. Given that the ‘like’ button can be seen as a controversial topic, I can understand why so many readers have left comments. I’ve enjoyed reading and responding to all of them.

        I’m still learning lots about blogging. I’m always glad that WordPress implements improvements because it means more to learn.

        I agree about comments, discussions and dialogue. For me, they are a crucial factor in blogging. However, I only leave a comment if I have any questions or have something to say that I believe will add value to the post.

        I’ve not heard about the number of ‘likes’ benefited those that make money out of blogging. I can see why a company may want to place an advert on a blog if they see posts getting lots of likes. However, that brings me back to the question ‘how many of those likes are from readers who never read the post?’ From what I know, companies tend to look at the number of hits a blog gets. Vast amounts of hits, mean lots of traffic. However, again, how many of those hits are from readers who did not stay after realising they had landed at the wrong page?

        Thank you for coming over to visit my blog to read some of my posts, Erica. I’m glad you found some of the topics I write about interesting. I take pride in trying to get readers involved by leaving me comments, which will benefit other readers. I’m delighted when comments (like yours) are left. Makes a massive difference to empty comments such as ‘great post’ or those that do not benefit the person who left it or the blogger who wrote the post.

        Have a lovely weekend.

        1. Hi Hugh, You make a good point on comments adding value to the post. I have just completed my first year of blogging and I find I often learn just as much from the comments as I did writing the post. Readers share new perspectives and personal gems that make me continue researching a topic. Thank you for your insights:) Erica

      2. Hi, Erica – Thank you for leaving such a thoughtful comment here. I am glad that you have found, and enjoyed, Hugh’s site. My thoughts about ‘likes and monetizing’ are the same as Hugh’s. My understanding is that companies who place ads on sites are much more interested in traffic — but you never know.
        I have absolutely no problem with likes when they are meant to say – “I read this post or comment and enjoyed it”. In that way they can be kind of cool — especially on comments.

  10. I rarely, if ever, click ‘like’ if I haven’t read and enjoyed the post. From reading your post it sounds like I might be in the minority!! Your posts are always interesting and full of questions to ask ourselves. I can understand your points and take them on board!

      1. Just come back for another read, especially the comments, for the #senisal linkup! You always seem to know how to get a conversation happening Hugh and that’s not easy in the blogging world, so well done!!

        1. Thank you, Debbie. For me, comments and conversations are a crucial part of the blogging experience. I’m so lucky to always get so many meaningful comments that add value to the posts they are left on. I can only put it down to me asking the right questions. Whatever it is, I’m always grateful for the comments. Without them, I would be speaking to an empty auditorium.

  11. Interesting topic. I know that people like my posts without reading. And I have done it a couple of times and stopped it straight away. Because , how can i like something i havent read, it might not be my cuppa tea, so i did stop that.

    I too follow less bloggers.

    I like to like when i read a good blog post, as sometimes i dont know what to write as a comment.

    We all like, likes and comments, it is energizing.

    But it is hard to read all blog posts, especially those who post multiple times a day, let a lone a week.

    It is crazy that wordpress have like button connected with reblog. Doesnt make sense.

    Social envy; i think Dr Andrea spoke of that in a radio interview that i posted on my blog a while back. I think this is a hot topic for young ones and leads to mental health issues.

    As a blogger you want to see likes, comments etc. It feels great.

    But when i realised i get likes for people not reading. And i even did that. It is not right. And i felt bad.

    I am not sure what i feel. I think the like count being only visible to authors , like views, and visits stats might be the way round. But, will we still get likes for not reading?

    I recently went back to a 3 days a week blogging schedule, after being one day a week as i was busy at work. But work has got busy in an unpredictable way. Then i was thinking about myself, how i just dont have time to read blog post of thoses i follow, and it must be the same for others bloggers. So contemplating reducing again , so i have time to read others blog posts and i am not drowning others with my blog post. BUT, it really impacts the view and visitor stats. Sometimes i just dont know. And then i feel, i didnt start blogging for stats, i wanted to share my thoughts on life, development, spirituality, quotes etc.

    It is crazy!! Likes, comments, stats. But, it is a driver. And who doesnt like a great comment.

    These days i pay more attention to comments, search stats, views and visit , more than likes as i just cant keep up with my own blog…lol.

    Hugh, this was as all your posts, very interesting and one that leaves me confused as to what matters to me. But, when i look at it from social envy and likes for not reading, i think getting rid of like stats from where they are now, to be only visible to author would be a good thing. But for wordpress that seems like hard work as it is connected to reblog.

    Well thank you again for this eye opener post.

    Regards bella

    1. Thank you for your thoughts and comments, Bella.

      I’ve heard lots about how social media envy affects the younger age groups, especially school children. I’ve also read about Blogging envy where some bloggers become envious of those they see as being successful bloggers. Anything we can do to stop these conditions is a great start. That’s why I hope the trial Instagram are conducting does work and is then adopted by other blogging and social media platforms.

      Yes, your right that we’ll still get ‘like’s’ from people who don’t read the posts, but at least only the author of the post will see the numbers. I think it’s a great way to try and help those who become envious at the figures against the ‘like’ button.

      We all publish blog posts in the hope that they will get read and that comments will be left, but we should never make ourselves feel guilty or get stressed out for not reading or commenting on all the blogs we follow. I will now only think about clicking on a link to read a blog post if the title of the post is of interest to me. However, even if I do click the link, I won’t read all the post if I find I’m not interested in what is being said. I’ve also stopped leaving comments for the sake of leaving a comment. Empty comments are of no benefit to the author of the post or the person who left the comment. Likewise, we shouldn’t worry about the falling numbers of visitors and readers. Why? Because if we enjoy blogging, then we will continue to do it, and the numbers will be less important than the content of what we write and share with our readers.

      I’m sorry that this post has made you feel confused. However, I’m glad it has made you think and that you shared your thoughts with us about the subject of ‘likes.’

      1. Dont be sorry about my confusion. My confusion is a good sign in that it makes me think bigger and is so important.

        I dont worry about numbers / follower because i am noticing some other naugtyness going on.

        I think you are right. A like button creates envy. Click happy as others say. It could be a very good thing all round. Bring life back to some healthy normal.

        Thank yoi always for your engaging post. I take your advice. I have already started not to completely read post, unfollow, because i just cant keep up. And thats when i think, if i cant keep up, then my followers cant either. I need to rethink my blogging and sm position. Food for thouht.

  12. I sometimes have a problem readying things thoroughly each word for word, but getting the gist of what someone is on about and appreciating that, well a [Like] is what it is. I see you have as many as 4,349 and this post has 80 [Like]s with 137 comments, but as you can see my blog posts are tucked away in the corner of the world wide web and I mainly post them for the intrinsic value. I am one of those persons in the real world that gets things done there, notices things that need to be noticed, says something or does something positive to change what other peoples actions are not wise or helpful, without hurting anyone, that and grow things for nature. Blogging isn’t the bee all, but for those that it is I might [Like] them.

    1. Like you, I write and publish posts because I enjoy writing and blogging and get a lot of joy from it. As someone who has a mild form of dyslexia, I saw blogging as a way for me to share my passion for writing with an audience. I’ve been blogging for over 5 years now, and during that time have followed the advice of many other bloggers on how to write blog posts, and build a community of readers who will engage with me. Sometimes, I felt like ‘throwing in the towel’, but my passion for writing is far stronger than giving up.
      For me, blogging is fun and something I enjoy doing, but I’ve stopped allowing it to take over my whole life. I made some great friends through blogging and have even met some in person. If I hadn’t started a blog, I would also have never self-published two books. I have a lot to thank blogging and the blogging community for.

      For some reason, your comment ended up in my WordPress spam folder, so apologies for the delay in responding to your comments. Thank you for leaving them.

      1. I didn’t know there was a wordpress spam folder either. I think I am a spider, for I can see the web, but tend to sit slightly outside of it watching it with a hand on the thread.

        1. Oh wow, I didn’t know I had a spam folder and had to go on a search for it, found it and a message in there. Thanks lovely, for now I know. Only I don’t get many people commenting on my little blog posts, for they are hidden away in the big ol’ web where spiders don’t look, like a midge me is.

  13. I love getting likes Hugh, but I realise that some bloggers do not read my posts. Comments and relationships with other bloggers are the icing on the cake for me. I have cut right down on the number of blogs I follow. It makes blogging much more enjoyable and sustainable.

    1. You’ve done the right thing by cutting down on the number of blogs you follow, Brigid. As part of my recent blogging plan, I’ve done exactly the same.

      Thank you for sharing with us your thoughts on using the ‘like’ button.

  14. I prefer and appreciate a relevant comment by far more than a click of the like.button. As many bloggers, and as I still work full time, and have other SM and FB groups that I administer, not enough time in my day (need at least 48 hours, and then will still be short) to read more blog posts. I would love to read more and be able to comment on more but have stopped hitting the like button just because.
    Thank you, Hugh, for another great and very insightful post. Glad you’re back after your blogging breakaway./

    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the subject of the ‘like’ button, Esmé. I’m delighted with the response this post has got. It certainly seems to be a topic that gets people talking. I’ll be sharing it at #SeniSal next week.

  15. I remember you bringing up the “like” button in that previous blog post, Hugh, and I was one of the commenters who missed it on your blog. In the past (years ago) I would sometimes press that button on someone’s post without reading the story and just looking at the photos, as to say “Great topic or idea, I’ve acknowledged it”.

    These years, I only press the button when I read and/or enjoyed the post. I like that button there, mostly for the times I read the blog, but didn’t have time or anything to say in the comments. For that reason, I think the button should stay.

    As for my own blog, I still like the gravatars of people liking my blog, but it’s not that important and comments mean much more to me. Yet, it still gives me pleasure if someone likes the post after reading it. When I see “likes” pop up for different posts, only seconds apart, I know something is a bit fishy! 🙂

    1. Yes, those ‘fishy’ likes are very annoying, Liesebt. However, there is little we can do about them unless we remove the ‘like’ button. I do, however, like the trial that Instagram is conducting. I hope it works and is adopted by other social media and blogging platforms.

      Do you take notice of who has ‘liked’ your posts and those of other bloggers? I’m interested in knowing, as I take no notice of the ‘likes’ on my blog or those of other bloggers. I also turned off the email notifications WordPress send whenever somebody likes one of my posts.

      1. I do take notice of the likes for my posts, by glancing the email notifications that come in about it. It makes me happy to see people – mostly bloggers I know – “read” (liked) my post, especially if I didn’t see a comment show up from them. As I mentioned before, comments are the cherry on top and so much more gratifying and interesting. But, without the “like” buttons I have even less of an idea whether my posts are being read/noticed. They give somewhat of an indication, as I never check statistics or do effort to gain readership. It’s my lazy way of seeing some activity with my blog. 🙂

        As far as other bloggers go, I do notice the huge amounts of likes collecting underneath their posts, yours is one of them, and am sometimes a bit envious about them (somehow they show success) as I never have a lot. But, I never study the likes or see whether I know the people who liked certain blogs. I have no time for that, and little interest as well.

        1. As soon as I found out that a ‘like’ didn’t automatically mean that the person leaving it had read my post, I started losing faith in the ‘like’ button, Liesbet. I know that probably the majority will have read the post but, even in some comments left on this post, people still admit to pressing the ‘like’ button without reading the post. For me, that just does not make any sense at all. I compare it to reviewing a book I’ve not read or leaving a review for a product I’ve not tested.

          As far as ‘success’ goes, I’ve learned from reading and writing posts about the subject that people measure success in many different ways. I’ve heard of posts that have had thousands of hits, yet only a few ‘likes.’ Likewise, posts that have had under 50 hits, but had lots of comments left on them. Given that there are users out there who don’t read posts they ‘like’ or who are click-happy when it comes to liking posts, I wouldn’t view the success of a post by the number of likes it has had.

          This has been a fascinating topic, and the conversations and comments left have really opened my eyes.

          Thanks again for your comments and thoughts on the topic of ‘likes.’

  16. Hi Hugh,
    I’ve bought into the whole “like” and “comment” syndrome. I feel obligated to make a response, especially to those individuals that respond to my blogs. I feel guilty if I don’t. I admit to being one of those that hit the “like” button when I’m busy and don’t have time to read all the post I follow. It can and does get tedious. So I thank you for making me feel normal, and in the future, I won’t feel guilty if my limited time doesn’t include getting to everyone’s blogs. I’ll only comment and like those that I actually read.

    1. That’s great to hear, Chuck. You’re not alone in finding yourself with not enough time to get to everyone. I believe many bloggers and readers are in the same boat. It’s why I wrote this post – to make those who find themselves in the same position as I did that they are not alone. I will now only read a blog post if the title of it catches my eye, and the subject is of interest to me. I’ve saved myself so much time just by doing that.

  17. This is such a great subject Hugh, it’s really made me think! As you know, I’ve been blogging now for a few years and at first, as you said about your own early days, the Like button was very important, as I was so excited to get Likes, but now you’ve made me think. Actually, I have to say, I went through quite a stressful time as I started to gain followers and I was following many blogs, reading posts, liking pages, commenting, doing the same on FB, Twitter, Pinterest etc etc and of course falling into the trap of playing that terrible Like game. I nearly gave up, but it was you Hugh who gave me such good advice on that subject and since then, I have to say I have been so much better in myself and more productive. I still feel guilt as I can’t possibly read all the amazing blogs out there, especially when some people post a few a day, but when I do read a blog I do try to comment and not just Like for the sake of it now. I also have readers of my blog who are not bloggers themselves so aren’t able to Like, but do comment sometimes. Comments do mean so much more, personally to me. I don’t think I would mind at all if the Like button disappeared. I do think social media posts are different though, I do believe they have a role there, as Terri said, certainly for photography posts. I hope this makes sense 🙂

    1. Sam, thank you for sharing all your thoughts with us about this blog post.

      I am delighted to hear how some previous advice I have given about using social media and blogging helped you decide to change the way you do both. When people tell me that it was advice I published that helped them, it tells me that what I am writing and publishing is working.

      I still see far too many writers and bloggers who tell their readers how pressurised they feel to read, visit and leave comments on the blog posts and social media accounts of those they follow. As you know, when the number of those blogs and social media accounts reach a specific amount, it becomes impossible to do. That’s the point when we then need to step back, take stock, and take action. I’m glad you did just that rather than continue to feel stressed out, pressurised or feel guilty because you don’t have enough time to do everything. Given that most bloggers also know precisely what you and I are saying, you’re not alone in taking action and doing what works best for you. Well done.

      I’m delighted that this post has got so many people thinking and sharing their thoughts. For me, that’s exactly what blogging is all about.

  18. I can honestly say I have not played the ‘like’ game. I only press the like button if I have read the post and genuinely liked it. And I usually comment if I like the post. That is why I cannot keep up with the blogs I follow and have become more selective about which blogs I read. It’s also why readership for my blog has grown slowly over time. I would not feel bad if the like button went away entirely but I suspect there might be an uprising amongst other bloggers on WordPress!

    1. It seems there is a 50/50 split about the subject, Molly. However, I do like what Instagram is trialling with some of their users. I hope the trial works and that other social media and bloggers platforms adopted the same process.

  19. Hugh, I enjoyed every sentence of your very insightful post. I only make use of the like button to acknowledge admiration for an outstanding post. It is also intended as a sincere source of motivation for the Author.
    It is completely absurd making use of the button in any instance beyond my expression above. This is my humble personal opinion.
    Great thanks for sharing a delightful post.

  20. I seldom use the like button; I don’t pay much attention to the likes on my own blog.
    If I like someone’s writing, I will spend a little time to write something, anything to let them know I was there/read/appreciated your work.

  21. As the years go by we become more selective in relation to blogging. Of course, we don’t have time to read all the posts and comments are an important part of blogging. On IG like or don’t a photo, so it’s OK to push the like button, but in here, generally the posts are complexes, the authors take time to write and edit, so a comment is deserved. I don’t care for the likes, but the comments are always welcome. We need to be careful with the likes, I’m always sure that I’ve read and understood before clicking the like button!

    1. I agree, Elizabeth, we do need to be careful about pressing the ‘like’ button on blog posts we have not thoroughly read. How do we know what we are ‘liking’ if we haven’t read it first? Would we review a book without reading it first, or review a product we’d never used?

  22. “Likes” are kinda when someone drives down your street and waves, then yells, “We have to do lunch.”
    Comments are the actual lunch date.
    I note the likes, just to see who has been through the neighborhood. Honestly I figure many are busy and don’t really stop and read, but wanted to say “Hi”
    I do think WP has changed a great deal over the years – seems like getting more and more like FB. Sad.

    1. You’re correct in what you say in that some users compare blogging the same way as they do with being on Facebook. There are hundreds of small clusters of bloggers who comment and like each other’s blog posts regardless of what the post is about. Now, there’s nothing wrong with that, but I decided it wasn’t for me. If I wanted to do that, I’d reopen my Facebook or Instagram account. For me, blogging is about writing, publishing and reading good quality content. Of course, interacting with other bloggers is also a key element but, for me, not in the same way as it is done on other social media platforms.

      1. “For me, blogging is about writing, publishing and reading good quality content.”
        This is true for many. Wish WP valued them more – as they used to. Always saddens me when bloggers of that nature get frustrated, just throw in the towel and head out.

        1. Not to mention the commercial business blogs seem to be more important than previously
          At one time WP scolded authors who seemed to be writing too much in promotion of their books and the thought of a PayPal button or any money raising would have people screaming. All there plans/perks for businesses? I guess WP is looking to become more Fakebook in several ways.
          Oh, well neighborhoods change. Still porches around to sit and chat on.

        2. I don’t mind authors advertising their books on their blogs. I see it as a free way to promote your work. As an author, I do it. However, I won’t follow any blogs where the author writes about nothing but their books and keeps asking readers to buy them. It’s a little like those annoying popups that pop up on a blog whenever you visit that ask you to subscribe to their newsletter! There’s often no way of saying ‘no thank you’, so the popup keeps popping up every time you visit. They’re very annoying.

  23. I read and clicked like. It is the same as I link my posts to my Twitter account and see the like on Twitter but see the stats that don’t match the likes from there. I used to be encouraged to keep doing what I am doing by the likes. I also read comments on blogs. You don’t have a like button on comments. I use that to agree with what someone else has written so I don’t have to do a lot of writing on blogs. Blogging is my social media as I have what I call by blog family. A number of people who communicate worldwide in post comments. I am also not a big writer on my blog, I an a photographer and let my photos do the talking. I have not heard of auto likes either.
    If I look at a blog that I don’t enjoy I don’t click like. Not a click happy chappy. The linking of like and reblog is not good but I don’t have any reblogs so I wouldn’t know about that. Good on you for keeping on at WP to improve the platform which can only befit us all.

    1. Thanks for your comments, Brian.

      I had to remove the ‘like’ button next to comments on my blog because when somebody with a long blog name left a comment, their name would often overlap with the ‘reply’ button next to the comment. Unfortunately, it’s an error with the WordPress theme I use. The Happiness Engineers at WordPress told me that the only way to fix it was to remove the option of having a ‘like’ button next to comments. At the time, I was publishing lots of guest posts, and some of my guests told me of the problem they were having when trying to reply to comments. Therefore, the advise WordPress gave me seemed the best solution.

  24. I leave’ likes’ if I don’t have time to read a post but don’t want a week to go by without acknowledging it; the like means I intend to come back and read it. I try to comment on every post I read but there are time when I don’t know what to say and don’t know how to say I don’t know what to say, so I leave a ‘like’ to applaud the effort or to leave a sign of encouragement. The only time I was offended by the folks who randomly like things from the reader was when I posted a question. Anyone who read the title would know a comment of some sort was in order. The post got 12 likes before anyone left an answer. Why would people like a post when they can’t be bothered to read the title? Fortunately, most people on WordPress are thoughtful and decent. I would be surprised if there isn’t a way to automate ‘likes’.

    1. When you ‘like’ a post that you haven’t read, how do you remember which posts to go back and read, Rob? I mentioned in an earlier comment that I heard a story about a blogger who ‘liked’ a post which included an attack on another blogger. It was only when the blogger (who had been attacked in the post) asked why they had ‘liked’ the post that had personally attacked them, that the blogger who had pressed ‘like’ realised the mistake they had made. I did think that it was a sporadic incident to happen but decided I’d be better off never pressing the ‘like’ button unless I had read it.

      I totally get why people do press the ‘like’ button when they have read a post and have nothing to add, but I still don’t understand why somebody would press ‘like’ on a blog post they’ve not read and never come back to read. Some of the commentators on this post have come up with other excellent methods to support bloggers rather than by clicking ‘like’ on all their posts.

      I often get ‘likes’ left on posts within seconds of the post being published. I also get bloggers who will press the ‘like’ button on many of my posts within seconds of each other. To me, it tells me that they’ve misused the purpose of the button and haven’t read any of the posts at all.

      1. I keep a list of bloggers on a word document and I limit the number of bloggers I like as a bookmark. I primarily do it with b loggers I follow who write fiction or long pieces that take time and require thought. Teagan is an example. I don’t knowingly follow people who trash me so that extent clicking ‘like’ is an act of trust. Do I always remember to go back and read a post? No, but I usually do. The speed of reading depends on my level of concentration and the kind of writing. ‘How to’ pieces and haiku are easier to read than fiction. Thank you, Hugh. This is a good discussion.

        1. Hugh, I see discussions of how we use the ‘like’ button in terms of community. Do we want a community in which people trade likes for the illusion of credibility; or do we want a community of people who interact with each other and genuinely support each other. I think it’s possible to use the like button without making it part of a popularity contest.

        2. I agree, Rob. However, I do hope we can help those who feel demoralised by the number of ‘likes’ they see against a post here on WordPress, on other blogging platforms and social media sites. I hope the trial Instagram is conducting does work, and they adopted new rules around the ‘like’ button as to who can see the numbers and who can’t. I’m positive it will go a long way in helping.

        3. I understand your concerns Hugh. One of the reasons I gave up on Flickr is that people were more concerned with ‘likes’ than the quality of the work they were ‘liking’. On Flickr we called ‘likes’ ‘faves’ and as long as you were in the right clique and on the right ‘fave’ exchange everything you posted would get two or three hundred ‘faves’. — That’s why I pay no attention to those numbers. I focus on the quality of my comments and the quality of the art work produced by the people I follow. I rarely know how many ‘likes’ a post gets but I do note the comments.

  25. So much of the information you share I find very valuable, Hugh.

    I totally agree about the need to discontinue the ‘like” button except perhaps for the author to see. Personally, I find the “like” button to be shallow. I also agree that the reblog and like buttons should be separate. To me, if someone reblogs a post it means they truly find value in it, vs a quick click of a like on a post that may not have been read.

    It is most unfortunate that WP is not very receptive to bloggers’ suggestions as when you said you’d asked them to discontinue the like button. BTW, I am not a like button maniac and use it rather judiciously. Certainly, only if I have read the post. I do leave comments on posts that are helpful or move me — even with sad subject matter.

    1. I really hope the trial at Instagram works and that other social media and blogging platforms adopted the method that only the author of a post can see how many likes a post has had (and which users ‘liked’ the post). It makes a lot of sense to me, especially if it helps with the issues some users are having.

      I have no idea wey WordPress, in their wisdom, connected the ‘like’ button to the ‘reblog’ button. It makes no sense to me at all. I would definitely remove the ‘like’ button from all of my posts if I were able to keep the ‘reblog;’ button. I think many other users would probably do the same.

      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us on the subject of the ‘like’ button on blogs.

  26. I read through this post and appreciated your questions. I deleted the Facebook author page but kept the regular Facebook for family connection. Facebook is interested in paid advertisement. It owns Instagram.

  27. I only “like” posts that resonate with me or provide value to me. (Which is why I liked this post!) I would certainly be fine with only the author seeing the number of likes. I feel like comments are a better gauge of the level of interest in my content. If a blog post inspires me enough to leave a comment, then the author did their job.

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us, Gina. I agree with you. Comments are far more valuable to me than a ‘like.’ For me, the occasional meaningful comment is worth far more than pressing the ‘like’ button on all my blog posts.

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