Facebook has confirmed it’s considering testing the removal of ‘like’ counts on the platform, following in the steps of Instagram.
In July this year, Instagram first rolled out its test of hiding like counts in Canada, following it up with a rollout in Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Ireland, Italy and Japan.
Instagram said the move was an effort to dissuade users from self-censorship and to aid in reducing mental health issues that are often associated with social media platforms.
At the time, Facebook ANZ director of policy Mia Garlick said: “We want Instagram to be a place where people feel comfortable expressing themselves. We hope this test will remove the pressure of how many ‘likes’ a post will receive, so you can focus on sharing the things you love.
“We are now rolling the test out to Australia so we can learn more about how this can benefit people’s experiences on Instagram, and whether this change can help people focus less on ‘likes’ and more on telling their story.”
However, not everyone bought into Instagram’s reasoning, with many suggesting the move was more about putting advertising spend back into the platform, rather than transactions occurring off the platform.
When TechCrunch asked Facebook if it would follow in the steps of Instagram, the company confirmed it is considering testing the removal of likes, but it won’t be live for users just yet.
The social media giant has yet to share the results from Instagram like hiding tests, the actual motives behind the move or any schedule for when Facebook testing will begin.
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