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Facebook will start hiding Like counts in Australia on Friday in an attempt to increase the digital wellness of its users.
The feature, which was first spotted in early September while in a test phase, will make it so only a post’s author can see their Like count while other users will only see names.
For example, instead of seeing “John Doe and 24 others” reacted to a post, users will not only see “John Doe and others.”
In a statement to TechCrunch, a Facebook spokesperson said the company intends to gauge how users react to the change to determine whether it will be rolled out to other locations.
“We are running a limited test where like, reaction, and video view counts are made private across Facebook” the spokesperson said. “We will gather feedback to understand whether this change will improve people’s experiences.”
Users will still be able to see reaction icons on other users’ posts as well as the Comment count.
A similar test will also be run simultaneously on Facebook-owned Instagram, which has already been testing the feature in Canada as well as six other countries. The Instagram test has already caused an uproar from some social media influencers who rely on high Like counts to earn a living.
Facebook seems to be attempting to make the platform a less competitive place, as many social media users compare their own Like counts to others. Facebook has also previously admitted that Likes are often viewed as a social currency, which leads people to buy followers and Likes in order to feel more prominent on the site.
- Instagram cracks down on fake likes
- Instagram expands experiment of hiding likes to 6 more countries
- Some influencers are upset over Instagram’s ‘like count ban’
Mikael Thalen is a tech and security reporter based in Seattle, covering social media, data breaches, hackers, and more.