Those Pesky Likes on Facebook May be No Longer


Courtesy to CNN Business

As seen in the photo, the like removal test on Facebook and Instagram keeps users other than the author of the post from viewing the number of likes on a post.

Tiana Salisbury, Photojournalist

For many people, social media is all about optimizing their likes and followers. As many people may know, likes and followers are the “currency” of social media which determine how “popular” someone is. This generates pressure or stress for users who are concerned about how many likes each of their posts get. However, a test from Facebook may reveal that removing the like count from a post could help users from stressing as much about their social media.

Facebook and Instagram—which is owned by Facebook—have started to test this idea in various countries, beginning September 27. According to CNN Business, these countries include  Australia, Japan, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Brazil, and New Zealand. In this study, the number of likes on one’s post is hidden from everyone except the post’s author. As one would expect, posts can still be liked but the number of likes will no longer be displayed. The only way to see how many people liked a post is by scrolling through the list of users who liked the post and counting each one, a tiresome task that very few will likely participate in.  

Facebook hopes that by hiding the like counts users will more comfortable with what they share. Rather than being concerned about the feedback of their content, an individual can begin posting anything they desire. With this goal in mind, Facebook will then see if this study will result in positive or negative feedback from users. If the results are predominantly positive, Facebook may begin removing like counts worldwide.

According to CNN Business, the test has had many positive results. Users are starting to become more carefree about what they post and are refraining from judging a post by the number of likes it has. Audrey Do (9) agrees with this, explaining that “people who actually look and care about how many likes their posts gets will stop panicking because they know that other people can’t see the number of likes the post receives.” Additionally, since the stress from likes is now diminishing, many users are starting to post content based on what they like, not based on what they think others will like.

Facebook’s test is still ongoing and may even spread to the United States if the feedback remains positive. By hiding the like counts on posts, the test is trying to convince users that social media is not just about getting the most likes and followers, but appreciating the content that other people are sharing.