Facebook could soon start hiding the Like counter on News Feed posts. This is to protect users’ from envy and dissuade them from self-censorship. Instagram is already testing this in 7 countries including Canada and Brazil. They showing a post’s audience just a few names of mutual friends who’ve Liked it instead of the total number.
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.
Here’s a comparison of the current and test Like listings:
That’s pretty much identical to Instagram’s Like test:
The idea of removing Like counts on Instagram relates to that company’s broader focus on user wellbeing – in an interview with CBS News in June, Instagram chief Adam Mosseri explained that:
“We don’t want Instagram to be such a competition. We want it to be a place where people spend more of their energy connecting with the people that they love and the things that they care about.”
The removal of the public like counts, according to Mosseri, could reduce social comparison, and its associated negative impacts.
Removing Like counts could put less pressure on users and encourage them to share more freely and frequently on Facebook. It could also obscure Facebook’s own potential decline in popularity as users switch to other apps. Posts not getting as many Likes as they used to could hasten the exodus.
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