Facebook is starting a trial run in Australia from September 27 that will hide the public visibility of the number of ‘Likes’ on a post. Users in Australia will no longer be able to see the number of likes, reactions and video views on the other person’s posts and ads across the website. So basically, you may still like and add emoji reactions to a friend’s post, but won’t be able to see how many others interacted with it. The information on counts of ‘Like’ will now only be visible to the author of the post.
Interestingly, a similar trial has also been done for its sister platform Instagram in several countries since July, including Canada, Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Japan and New Zealand.
Facebook reportedly hopes to create a healthier atmosphere at its social media websites with the latest trial by reducing mental pressure on users as counting ‘Likes' causes social comparison.
Previously, Facebook said that wanted its apps to be a place where people can comfortably express themselves and focus on the quality of photos and videos they are posting, rather than worrying about the number of ‘Likes’ or reactions they get.
"(It is about) 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,” Facebook spokeswoman Mia Garlick told the Australian Associated Press. However, the trial may receive some backlash from social media influencers for whom public displaying of the number of ‘Likes’ is an important business metric.