Facebook Working on Hiding 'Like' Numbers to Help Build Self-Esteem

The testing first rolled out in Australia last week.
Fabienne Lang

You've most certainly 'liked' a comment or an image on a friend's Facebook page. Sometimes you do it passively, sometimes you genuinely enjoy what you see or read, and it needs a response. 

However, to the person on the receiving end of the 'like,' feature, the number of likes received can either make them happy or make them feel embarrassed when they post something. 

In an attempt to find out whether it can make people feel happier, Facebook is testing out a new version of its 'like' feature, where you only see one friend's name followed by 'and others' instead of the amount of likes.


Facebook may roll the feature out to other countries

Currently, Facebook has only been testing this new feature in Australia. The company rolled it out last Friday in the land down under. 

If the experiment works well, Facebook may launch it in other regions as well. 

A Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch, "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."

Facebook Working on Hiding 'Like' Numbers to Help Build Self-Esteem
Source: NajiHabib/Pixabay

How did this all begin?

Early in September, mobile app researcher Jane Manchun Wong dug up the hidden feature that was buried beneath its Android app, and that is what sparked the idea to test it out. 

As per Wong's discovery, if people still want to view the full names and numbers of likes, that is still an option. The user has to tap on the 'and others' part. Comments will still be displayed.

The difference is that the numbers and names will no longer be on the News Feed. 

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This may not sound like a huge change; however, it may assist quite drastically in curbing low self-esteem, or the dependence on 'likes.' Facebook users utilize the site to post images or moments in their lives that are important, and they will still be able to do so. Many social media users, Facebook users included, depend on the number of likes they receive, to feel good about themselves, it seems. 

Facebook isn't the only social media site working on this type of feature. Instagram tested a very similar feature earlier this year in Canada and a handful of countries. It hid the numbers of likes — almost exactly as Facebook plans to test out. 

This current test is to see if Facebook users will still feel like posting pictures before they roll it out to other regions. 

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