As you may know, Instagram is testing hiding like counts in seven countries. But according to recent reports, Facebook may soon follow. Reverse engineering expert Jane Manchun Wong discovered the prototype of hidden like counts in Facebook Android app. Just like Instagram’s tested feature, it shows a few people who liked your post but hides the total number of likes.
Wong posted a few screenshots on her Twitter, revealing what the feature will look like. Basically, when you look at someone’s post, you can only see a few mutual friends who liked it, but not the total number of likes.
Facebook is working to hide like counts, too!https://t.co/WnUrM12aZg
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) September 2, 2019
The same test has been conducted on Instagram for a few months now. Wong discovered it before it became official, back in April 2019. A month later, Instagram began testing the feature in Canada, and then expanded the tests to six more countries: Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Italy, Ireland, and Japan.
TechCrunch reached out to Facebook, and the company confirmed that it’s “considering testing removal of Like counts.” In other words, it’s not being tested just yet, and it’s not live for users. But it seems that hiding Like counts on Instagram had some positive effect since Facebook decided to test it, too.
The point of hiding the total number of Likes is to prevent users from envy and from feeling inadequate. People tend to compare themselves to others and feel bad if their posts don’t get as popular. While it may sound trivial to some of us, the fact remains that many people (especially teenagers and young adults) are “addicted to likes.” Research has shown that social networks have a devastating effect on mental health in teenagers.
Hiding like counts could prevent people from destructively comparing to others. Consequently, it could even reduce all those dangerous stunts people do just to get likes, as well as selfie-related accidents. Personally, I believe that hiding Like counts is a terrific idea, and I hope to see the feature on both Facebook and Instagram. And I must admit that I’m also curious to see how it will affect both the users and the famous social networks.