Facebook could soon start hiding the ‘Like’ counter on News Feed posts that something Facebook users might not like. The company is considering hiding “like” counts from public view to protect users’ from envy and dissuade them from self-censorship.
Users might not be able to see the exact number of Facebook users who have like a post on their profiles. Such a change could ease pressure to win approval with images, videos or comments and, instead, get people to simply focus on what is in posts.
The social-networking giant has already shown a willingness to give thumbs down to the like feature outside the U.S. Beginning in May. That’s the same way the test works on Instagram, the photo-sharing app owned by Facebook. Instagram’s like-hiding test, which started in Canada earlier this year, is now running in seven countries. Facebook confirmed the researcher’s discovery, but said it is too early to say whether it will test the idea widely.
The idea is to prevent users from destructively comparing themselves to others and possibly feeling inadequate if their posts don’t get as many Likes. It could also stop users from deleting posts they think aren’t getting enough Likes or not sharing in the first place.
“When you remove engagement indicators, people engage less,” Beykpour said.
In a statement to TechCrunch, Facebook confirmed that while it was planning to test the removal of like counts feature, however, it wasn’t live for users yet. The feature – both on Facebook and Instagram – is being introduced, as several reports have indicated, to avoid comparisons on posts, negative feelings among users and reduce the negative impacts of anxiety among users. But many users are also able to find plenty of positives with services like Facebook and Instagram, with people reporting closer connections and valuable support from friends, among other benefits.
It’s unclear when the feature will be available on both platforms.
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