FACEBOOK is about to begin hiding like counts.
The tech firm is starting its experiment today in Australia to see if the feature can successfully improve user well-being.
A Facebook company spokesperson told us: ““We are running a limited test where like, reaction, and video view counts are made private across Facebook.
“We will gather feedback to understand whether this change will improve people’s experiences.”
It means that affected users won’t be shown how many people have liked a post but they will still technically be able to count themselves if they expand the likes tab.
If the test goes well then Facebook will reportedly roll out the feature to more countries.
The changes come at a time when social media giants are under pressure to curb feelings of anxiety and depression that are being linked with their platforms.
Facebook hopes that the move will make users feel more comfortable to share things on the platform because it should feel less like a competition.
Mia Garlick, the director of policy for Facebook Australia, explained to the Australian Associated Press that the removal of likes should remove negative comparisons between users.
She said: “We’ve had really positive feedback from a lot of the anti-bullying groups and mental health organisations that we work with.
“It really is just taking that number out of the equation, so that people can focus on the quality of their interactions and the quality of the content rather than on the number of likes or reactions.”
Businesses have been assured that they will still receive the relevant data required to see if a post has done well and how many people it reached.
Instagram began a similar removal of likes test in Canada earlier this year.
Many users of the photo app reported that they preferred to not see a like count so the feature was rolled out in more countries.
What info does Facebook hold on you?
- All the data on your profile – name, age, marital status, where you went to work, and so on.
- Your activity on the site – which posts you like, pages followed, photos shared.
- Its tracker cookies (which most websites use) can even follow you around the internet, so Facebook can also get an idea of the types of websites you like to visit – to serve you more relevant advertisements.
In other news, the Facebook of the future could connect to your brain as firm buys ‘mind-reading machines’ start-up CTRL-labs.
The tech giant is collecting your SMS texts, calls and contacts – here’s how to stop it.
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