Facebook may remove like counts on news feed posts by users, just like Instagram is openly testing in seven countries including Canada and Brazil.
According to a report by TechCrunch, Facebook is still testing the removal of like counts so it is currently not available to users. If the feature is eventually rolled out, only a post’s author will be able to see the number of likes the post received.
Jane Manchun Wong, a reverse-engineering expert discovered Facebook prototyping the hidden like counts in its Android app.
Facebook is working to hide like counts, too!https://t.co/WnUrM12aZg
— jane (@wongmjane) September 2, 2019
In April, Jane also discovered a new Instagram feature in the social network’s Android code that showed that the Facebook-owned company was testing a feature that hides like counts.
Similarly, in March, Twitter was reportedly testing the hiding of likes and the retweet button in its soon-to-be released new mobile app; twttr to help read long conversations and threads easier.
In countries like Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Ireland, and Japan where the hiding of likes on Instagram started testing in July, authors of posts can see the total number of likes their content received but others can’t. Instagram says it wants followers to “focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get.”
According to the report, the idea of hiding like counts by Facebook is to stop users from worrying about their posts not getting enough likes, not posting at all for the fear that they won’t get any likes, and even deleting the posts that don’t get enough engagements.
Over time, studies have shown that the pressures of social media popularity and usage — especially Facebook — can affect young people’s self-esteem.
One Facebook user says he will crawl out of his shell and start posting more often because he doesn’t have to worry about the total likes his content receives.
Another Facebook user says if the new feature is eventually made available in Nigeria, she will be indifferent as she barely posts online due to her recent lack of interest in the app.
Considering the fact that many people claim to have been affected by social media in some ways, this decision by Facebook — if testing is successful and the feature is rolled out — maybe a good one after all.