-Facebook had started hiding likes on its Instagram, and there is a possibility that it may extend a similar feature to its main social networking platform
-New leak suggests that Facebook is currently hiding like counts for specific users
-Facebook is yet to officially announce that it will be hiding like counts
Hiding like counts is a new strategy that is recently been adopted by social media networks, and while it is not a very appealing approach, more platforms are beginning to adopt the style. Facebook recently adopted a similar feature for its Instagram, and despite the critics that followed afterward, the social media giant seems to have been secretly adopting similar feature for its major platform- Facebook.
The change that suggested that Facebook has been secretly removing like counts was first noticed by popular reverse engineer Jane Manchun Wong- a researcher that is well-known for leaking new app features ahead of general rollout. Wong discovered new behavior in the code of Facebook’s Android app. According to her explanation- she had noticed that Instead of seeing the full ‘Like’ count on a specific post, Facebook users who were specifically selected for the ongoing test will simply see the names of a handful of friends who clicked the ‘Like’ button instead.
While the new behavior is not totally a strange one, Wong told that it is similar to how Instagram hidden like counts test operates in the countries that it is currently been tested. Of course, it is surprising that Facebook has refused to publicize its latest attempt, however, it is believed that the company is possibly running an insider test before the general test, which hence explains why the secrecy.
That been said, Facebook later confirmed to a reliable source, Techcrunch, that it would indeed strip those ‘Like’ counts as a test, but that the change hasn’t yet gone into effect, so don’t start checking your various posts for reduced numbers of likes.
Apart from admitting to the possibility of stripping the like counts in the nearest future, the company, however, did not further state more details about when the new feature will be rolling out, or when it will commence a general test, however, it shouldn’t be unnecessarily far away from now, considering that the feature is becoming more prominent, and it will only make sense if the company rolls it out any moment soon.
If you are still wondering about what the company is trying to achieve by hiding like counts, then it is most definitely the same reason it gave for hiding like counts for Instagram- to reshape people’s behavior on the platform.
Removing those ‘Like’ counts means you can’t immediately gauge your post’s popularity (unless it’s so noxious that no one likes it at all); without that at-a-glance feedback, it’s not hard to imagine people sharing content that matters to them without feeling quite so self-conscious about it. With this kind of mindset, it is almost impossible to care so much about like counts.