Facebook tests hiding ‘like’ counts after Instagram’s decision to do so
Web Log: Move may lead to users feeling less anxious about posting on platform
Facebook has begun testing the removal of public ‘like’ counts from user posts
Back in July, Instagram began testing the removal of public “like” counts from user posts across six countries including Ireland to “create a less pressurised environment where people feel comfortable expressing themselves”.
Now Facebook appears to be testing this on its own platform. Security researcher Jane Wong spotted the unreleased test on the Facebook Android app by “reverse-engineering the app and playing with the code underneath”.
Wong noted that just like on Instagram, the like/reaction count is hidden from anyone other than the creator of the post but the complete list of people who like or react to a post will still be visible. She added that it might lead to users “feel[ing] less anxious about the perceived popularity of their content”.
Meanwhile, Daniel Hochuli of the Content Marketing Institute, has claimed in the past that these “vanity metrics” aren’t necessarily a marker of success for a business: “The number of ‘likes’ earned from a Facebook post rarely correlates to the number of products sold on a store shelf. Some would argue that there is no correlation at all. Indeed, it is possible to make more sales from a post with only one “like” than from a post with 10,000 ‘likes’.”