Facebook Removing ‘Like’ Counts Soon

Facebook Like

Social media platforms are now operating in a paradox. They wanted to maintain user engagement for as long as possible, yet they also wanted to install features that will restrict addiction and abuse. Currently, Facebook seems to be working towards hiding the likes, the same way that Facebook-owned Instagram has been planning. The number of likes given to the post will be hidden to everyone except the owner of the post. It is similar to the like-hiding option that Instagram is toying with. Jane Manchun Wong revealed Facebook’s latest feature.

Hiding ‘Likes’

When the report rapidly breaks up the internet, Facebook released their statement about the upcoming feature and confirmed that they are working on hiding the number of likes on the platform. However, the feature is still not available to live users yet, so it could still change. Facebook is hoping to start concealing the number of likes on News Feed posts to protect the users from feeling negative about themselves. Besides combatting envy, Facebook also wants to convince users from self-censorship.

Instagram is recently applying this mechanism in 7 countries, and that includes Brazil and Canada, revealing only several names of mutual friends who have liked the post rather than showing the total number of likes. The idea behind this is to stop users from regularly comparing themselves to others that could result in feelings of jealousness if they don’t earn as many likes. Furthermore, this could also prevent users from removing posts that they deem won’t garner more likes or not worth sharing.

Facebook Box Like

The invisible ‘Like’ count

Jane Manchun Wong, the master of reverse engineering, uncloaked Facebook, prototyping the invisible like counts in its android app. When reporters asked Facebook, they confirmed that they are considering the elimination of like counts. However, the company didn’t provide in-depth information about the results of their Instagram Like Hiding tests, its primary goal, or schedule of release.

Despite this, the prototype might be an indication that the experiment in Instagram went well and hiding the like counts might show positive results. The experiment started in April, and the company started testing it in Canada after a month. In July, Instagram expanded the testing in New Zealand, Brazil, Ireland, Australia, Japan, and Italy. Users from these countries reported that they can still view the total like, but everyone else can’t. The expansion of the Instagram test to different countries followed by Facebook trying it on its own platform might signal promising results on sharing while boosting mental health. This could be a great feature to control app engagement and addiction, as well as aiding user’s mental health.

The primary goal of this like hiding feature is to remove the competition in social media interactions. Without the like tallies, users will focus more on the value of their content and not on the amount of attention it will gain. Facebook is one of the leading social media networks today, and if they make can pull this off, then the well-being of countless of people will improve.