The social network giant in the world Facebook has said will be removing the like button from its app.
It’s a universally recognized sign of approval for Facebook posts which has been so integral to the service’s experience pretty much since its inception, for both good and ill.
As time as gone on, more attention has been paid to the effect that chasing likes and addiction to social media has on peoples’ health, which is why
Facebook-owned Instagram has been experimenting with hiding like counts on posts from everyone but the user.
Facebook, meanwhile, is reportedly close to launching a similar test, no doubt chastened by users spending less and less time on the platform and in some cases abandoning it altogether. Could this be the kind of thing that keeps at least some of them around?
The social network is apparently wrestling internally with the permutations of that very question. App researcher Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane on Twitter) who is constantly drilling down into app code to discover unannounced features being tested, has disclosed that Facebook is considering an Instagram-like test that would hide like counts on a post from the user’s followers.
She spells it all out here on her blog, in addition to her Twitter account
Along these lines, Facebook has confirmed that it is indeed considering this test but has not gotten underway with it yet.
“By hiding the like/reaction counts from anyone other than the post creator, users might feel less anxious about the perceived popularity of their content. It has been shown in multiple papers that social media use may influence mental health, including leading to depression and anxiety.” ” Jane said.
“It takes time to develop, observe, research and release experimental features like this. Experimental features could come and go. But I am certain hiding the public like counts will be beneficial to the digital wellbeing of a large chunk of users.” She added