Change is coming for Facebook’s like counts.
App researcher Jane Manchun Wong discovered codes inside the social media app that hides the number of likes from others except for the user who posted the content originally. The discovery was then confirmed by Facebook saying that they are indeed planning to test and hide the like counts.
Instagram started it
Instagram did the same test last July in seven countries including New Zealand, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Brazil, and Australia. Adam Morris, head of Instagram said that it was their way to make the platform a less pressurized environment. He added that they’re aiming to make Instagram a platform that’s more for content sharing rather than engagement competition.
This time, the mother network is planning to start the same test. This change will be felt the most in the News Feed. Facebook did not comment on how the results of the Instagram experiment, the motives behind it, or the upcoming test on Facebook.
It is assumed however that Facebooks’s goal is similar to Instagram’s. It is an effort to let the followers focus on the content rather than on the number of likes it gets.
Hiding the like counts may lessen the users’ self-consciousness and increase their engagement on the platform. This is also a great idea to stop people from comparing themselves from the number of likes that others are getting. Additionally, this could decrease the anxiety that users may have concerning the likes that their posts get.
Effect of social media pressure (Grass is always greener)
A number of studies have been made regarding the effects of social media on one’s mental health. The results of some studies show that social platforms lead to envy and depression. This is caused by the notion that other peoples’ lives are much better than theirs.
There are others who find the social platforms their avenue of reaching out to different communities, groups, and people whom they can seek support from. This relates back to the original intent Zuckerberg had for Facebook. The platform’s main goal is to make sure that the time spent on the platform is time well spent with those close to the users.
In the end, the effects of social media in one’s mental health depends on how a user uses the platform.
What does this mean?
Advertisers and marketers have been using data Facebook like currency. Advertisers, like Facebook, must then seek new ways in boosting their engagement and stop depending on the like count.