Facebook-owned Instagram, earlier this year, started experimenting with hiding like counts on posts so that followers of the poster won’t be able to see the no. of likes on a particular post. The reason behind this is to stop some brands who were artificially inflating engagement and purchasing likes. The company got positive results with the experiment, so now, Facebook started to test for hiding like counts, too.[wpinsertshortcodead id=”bzyqm5d3e04029f48f”]
The change was first spotted by Jane Manchun Wong, a reverse engineer. She found the code inside Facebook’s Android app that hides the like count on a post from everyone except the poster. Instead of seeing the like count other users will be only able to see few reaction emojis and the names of friends who clicked the like button. Facebook confirmed TechCrunch that it’s testing the change to hide the like counts; however, the change hasn’t started running yet.
Moreover, to stop the nuisance of fake profiles and inorganic engagement, this feature would also be apart of digital wellbeing. According to a study report, social media and popularity might be linked to mental wellbeing. Hiding the no. of like counts would improve authentic engagement.
Instagram has publicly acknowledged the test though it’s in the early phase as far as the Facebook app is concerned. It will be interesting to see how the company communicated the change when and if it will make to the broader public, and how the businesses and brands will respond to this.[wpinsertshortcodead id=”zxikm5d3e04a8f1451″]