The Instagram update that hid the number of likes gave something to talk about and the same should happen with Facebook. The company confirmed that, on Friday (27), it will begin to hide the amount of likes and reactions in social network publications as a test to improve the well-being of users.
The test will be similar to that of Instagram, which started in Canada and was later expanded to six other countries, including Brazil. In the case of Facebook, the first to experience change will be Australians. The authors of the publications will still be able to see the number of likes, but the information will be hidden from everything else.
To TechCrunch, Facebook explains that it is doing a “limited test in which the counters of likes, reactions and video views are made private on Facebook”. During the experiment, the goal is to “collect feedback to understand whether this change will improve people’s experiences”.
It is not new that the numbers of likes on social networks are associated with negative feelings, such as stress, anxiety and envy. In the UK, a government agency recommended that features that steal users’ attention to increase engagement should be disabled or banned entirely on sites that can be accessed by people under 18, as too much social networking could harm the users’ well-being.
For social networks, the change may end up having a positive impact on the audience. On Instagram, which has been suffering from low engagement, users delete posts that don’t get “enough” likes immediately, or decide to publish “embarrassing” images on a secondary account. If people don’t know how many likes a publication receives, they tend to care less about the number and send more content.
For now, Facebook testing is limited to Australia. The social network did not say when or if it would be extended to other countries. On Instagram, the experiment took place for three months in Canada before being taken to other markets.
Tecnocast 122 – Instagram without likes: what changes?
As already reported, Instagram stopped showing the number of likes in Brazil. Despite the justification for reducing pressure by numbers, the decision turned out to be quite controversial. But is there a reason for so much fanfare? We discussed the matter in the Tecnocast 122. Press play and come with us!