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Facebook to test hiding ‘likes’

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The tech giant Facebook may soon follow the footsteps of its subsidiary Instagram and start hiding the like counts on the posts in the user’s feed. This decision may have been fueled by the decreasing user engagement on Facebook, alongside the negative impacts of the pressure created by “who has more likes” on the mental health of its users.

Instagram has been testing this feature in seven countries including Canada and Brazil. This new update will no longer show the number of likes on posts; however, users can still view the number of likes and comments on their own posts.

It was revealed that the tech giant had implemented this feature as it felt that users were comparing themselves to others and competing in terms of the number of ‘likes’ their posts received. While the company paints the picture of a lofty ideal, it is to be noted that Facebook had been experiencing declining user engagement  may be trying to hide that.

For daily usage and content creation, people prefer using Instagram and Snapchat compared to Facebook. On the other hand, Facebook is increasingly only being used for updating life events such as graduation, marriage, and career milestones.

It has been revealed that Facebook wants to discourage users from feeling unworthy or less-valued because of receiving fewer likes on a post.

Facebook had started testing this feature on its Android mobile application; this came to light when a popular security researcher Jane Manchun Wong revealed it on Twitter.

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While Facebook acknowledged that it was testing a new ‘Likes’ feature, the company had, however, declined to share any results from the implementation of this feature on Instagram.

The tech giant doesn’t tend to integrate any features abruptly and is known to gradually implement them only after thorough testing. If the feature does seem to be counter-productive, Facebook may ultimately scrap it.

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