Social media giant Facebook is considering testing a feature that will hide the number of likes on a post. Popular app researcher Jane Wong first discovered the code in Facebook’s Android app that hides the exact number of likes received on a post. The number of likes will only be available for the original poster.
Other users would only be able to see reaction emojis and a statement reading liked by ‘a friend and others’ instead of showing the exact number of people. According to Facebook, the test hasn’t started running yet.
A similar test has been conducted earlier on Instagram to hide the number of likes received on a post. After it has been found successful, Facebook is planning to expand it to other apps too.
For years, the ‘Like’ has always been a popular feature on Facebook, but users have at times reacted in a negative way saying that ‘likes’ makes them feel bad, as they often worry whether their posts will get enough likes. According to social media studies, people sometimes don't post things fearing they won’t get enough likes, or they could remove posts that didn’t perform well. Thus, removing the likes count could help relieve that pressure. And, if that leads to sharing more posts on Facebook, it would result in people spending more time on Facebook – something Facebook has been struggling for the past couple of years.
The company is also working on ‘Threads’ – a new messaging app, designed to promote status sharing, location and other things with your close friends.