In Australia, Facebook Tests Hiding Number Of 'Likes' On Trial Basis

Following in the footsteps of Instagram, social media giant Facebook is launching a trial for Australian user's to hide the number of likes and reactions on a Facebook post.

She said it was too early to say if the test would roll out to other countries like Instagram's trial has in Australia, Canada, Brazil, New Zealand, Japan, Italy and Ireland. The tech company said the approach will be a limited test that will begin in Australia.

While users will be able to like or react on a photo or a video posted, the number of likes or reactions or video view counts will remain under the veil.

"We will gather feedback to understand whether this change will improve people's experiences", said Jimmy Raimo, a Facebook spokesman.

Similar to Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, there is no date specified when the trial will end or if the change will be made permanent.

Facebook is about to begin hiding like counts.

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In Australia, one in five children report experiencing cyberbullying, according to the country's eSafety commissioner. The reason behind removing likes from view was aimed at reducing social pressure among the users. With no more count of "Likes" people may engage with the post exclusively on the basis of the content instead of blindly liking and sharing it based on its popularity.

The social media big didn't verify how lengthy the trial would run for.

However, some social media influencers who have built a business on Instagram said they have concerns about the test. Instagram personalities working with brands on sponsored content are paid, in part, based on the engagement of their posts, which includes likes.

In both cases, the move is aimed to improve the mental wellbeing of users, who it is hoped will begin to see Facebook as a place to share content with friends and family, not compete over how many likes they get and how popular they are.

Furthermore, Garlick added the company had sought for an opinion of mental health experts and of anti-bullying groups.

  • Sonia Alvarado