You may soon be unable to see just how many likes or reactions other people's posts have received if Facebook decides to roll out its feature of hiding likes.
ICYDK, Instagram has been conducting a test that does just this in seven countries, namely Canada, Brazil, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Ireland, and Italy. But according to reports, reverse-engineering master Jane Manchun Wong has already confirmed seeing a similar prototype code in Facebook's Android app, leaving many to consider the feature a possibility too for Facebook.
"Currently, with this unreleased feature, the like/reaction count is hidden from anyone other than the creator of the post, just like how it works on Instagram," explained Jane in a blog post. "The list of people who liked/reacted will still be accessible, but the amount will be hidden."
"Interestingly, likes/reaction counts on comments are not yet hidden for now," Jane wrote. "But this could be due to the nature of this feature being in an early stage of development. As always, things will be polished eventually."
"Facebook is working to hide like counts, too!" Jane said.
"Facebook added a text explaining the hiding like counts feature in its prototype," said Jane in a Twitter post. "They are hiding video counts in this prototype as well."
So why are they exploring the feature with Instagram and maybe soon, Facebook, too? Instagram says it's because they would like users to focus on the content, rather than the number of likes. This also helps address social media issues associated with mental health, especially with younger users who value online popularity.
"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," said Mia Garlick, Facebook Australia and New Zealand director of policy, in a statement.