Social media giant Facebook is taking a cue from its subsidiary Instagram as it considers hiding like counts on posts, according to an app researcher.
Jane Manchun Wong came across a code inside Facebook’s mobile android app which she says would hide the exact number of likes on a post. This is similar to a feature Instagram started rolling out in seven countries back in July. Instead of the actual like count, the code will show reaction emojis and “[a friend] and others” in its place.
The company, founded by Mark Zuckerberg, confirmed to tech news outlet TechCrunch that it is weighing on launching a test run to hide like counts. However, the social network has not officially started testing as of yet.
Before Facebook starts running trials of the new feature, there’s no way of telling if it will be a success. But the fact that the social network followed suit after Instagram’s fairly successful trials of the same feature is a good sign. The photo-sharing app received positive reviews from users who were part of the test and it has reportedly been expanded to several more countries.
Likes have been a definitive feature of Facebook and many other social networking platforms followed. However, it is the very same reason social media has been painted in a bad light. Negative criticisms claim that going after likes lead to an inauthentic portrayal of life on social media. Something that Instagram wanted to address the matter.
Instagram has been running tests in Australia. Mia Garlick Facebook’s director of policy in the region explained the reason behind it in a statement saying:
“We hope this test will remove the pressure of how many likes a post will receive, so you can focus on sharing the things you love.”
Christian is a morning reporter and technology columnist for Best in Australia. Christian has worked in the media since 2000, in a range of locations. He joined Best in Australia in 2018, and began working in Melbourne in 2019.