Paying subscribers to X — formerly Twitter — will now be able to hide their likes tab from public view, the company announced today. When enabled, the tab disappears completely from an X Premium user’s profile.
Private likes are the latest exclusive feature X owner Elon Musk has introduced for people who pay to use the platform. Musk has said in the past that he wanted likes to be private. The bookmarks feature available to all users could be used in a similar way if a user wanted to save things privately. A screenshot shared by the official X account suggests likes aren’t totally hidden — a Premium user’s likes are still visible on individual posts, according to the screenshot. It’s also not clear what would happen if a user ever stopped paying for X Premium, though it seems likely that the likes tab would reappear at that point.
There have been multiple instances throughout the years in which Twitter likes have embarrassed high-profile users, who often didn’t seem to realize their likes were public.
In 2017, after Ted Cruz’s official account liked a pornographic clip, the senator blamed a staffer who he said had hit the wrong button. Something similar happened to pop star Harry Styles in 2014 (he eventually unliked it and instead favorited a bunch of pictures of animals). It also happened to Samuel L. Jackson.
Musk’s own likes are still public. In a post on X, he said he recommends keeping them publicly viewable and using the bookmarks feature for “interesting posts.” His most recent likes include Musk fan accounts posting quotes and photos of him, memes, and a post by an account called “End Wokeness.”
Musk has been adding features to X Premium to entice people to pay for the service, which starts at $8 per month in the US. Last month, the first round of creator payments arrived for users who are part of a monetization program. Payments are based on some calculation of the number of views a post gets, though it’s unclear how payouts are determined exactly. Subscribers to X Premium also have the option to hide the blue check that they pay for from appearing on their profile — perhaps a good way to dodge memes making fun of them.