Is Facebook Hiding Like Counts on Posts?
Beginning September 27th, 2019, in Australia, Facebook began testing hiding like counts on posts.
Is Facebook Following Instagram?
On September 3rd, news broke stating Facebook was considering following Instagram in its move to hide like counts on its posts. Jane Manchun Wong, an app reverse engineering expert, confirmed its plans after hidden like counts were discovered.
Given its success so far in the last 24 hours, this program may expand to multiple counties months from now.
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Similar to Instagram, users can see who liked a post but not the total amount of likes a post has received. Only the original author of the post will be able to see the total count of likes.
In an interview with Facebook by TechCrunch:
“We are running a limited test where like, reaction, and video view counts are made private across Facebook. We will gather feedback to understand whether this change will improve people’s experiences.”
As of right now, there is still a lot of feedback to gather, considering it has only been 24 hours since Facebook started testing in Australia.
Facebook’s goal is to measure the effects of hidden like counts on users’ well-being.
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Facebook’s Mental Health Goal
Both Facebook and Instagram want users to feel comfortable sharing content without competing for likes, and from various sources.
The aim is to foster appreciation of others’ posts based on their own merits, rather than judging them solely on how many likes are received.
A study has been conducted on how social media likes affected the behaviors and mental well-being of its users.
In short, the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) deemed the “Like” button the “most harmful feature of social media”. This poll of more than 2,000 users found both teenagers and adults considered the button the most “toxic” feature.
From these findings, the RSPH called on social media companies to “rethink the ‘architecture’ of their sites”.
In all, Facebook is making some effort in reducing mental health stresses by making theirs and Instagram’s platforms more enjoyable for its users.
Should the forthcoming data show it is doing more good than harm by hiding like counts on posts, it may expand to more countries.
At this time, there are further tests planned.
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