One of the allures of social media is the validation that it gives users. “Likes” given to a post shows how many people might have seen it and given it their “approval”. It also serves as a metric of sorts where companies or individuals can use it as a way to show how big their reach is and command more money from sponsors and advertisers.
However, it seems that Facebook could make some changes that some users might not be happy with, and that is to hide the “Like” counts on posts. This was discovered by researcher Jane Manchun Wong who found evidence of this in the Android app. When asked by TechCrunch to verify if her findings were accurate, Facebook confirmed that they are considering launching the test.
It is not live yet which means that the company hasn’t decided if they will go through with it. If this sounds familiar, it is because previously, Facebook-owned Instagram also embarked on a similar test. The test on Instagram is still very much live but is limited to a handful of countries, where it is unclear if it will be expanded and become a permanent thing.
The hiding of “Likes” could be considered controversial to some, but given that there are some who also argue that social media is actually not good for one’s mental health, perhaps by hiding the “Likes” counter, it will finally stop people from comparing their lives with others.