App researcher Jane Machun Wong has reported that Facebook may start hiding the count of likes and reactions on posts featured in user’s News Feeds. Facebook has also agreed that it is considering hiding reactions to posts by prototyping the hide/reaction count feature by making changes to the code.
Instagram has begun hiding like counts for some users from last year itself. The test was extended to more users across various countries when the company saw an acceptance of this move.
“We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get,” Instagram says in a notification it serves to anyone who is part of the experiment. “During this test, only the person who shares a post will see the total number of likes it gets.”
It is important to note that Facebook has built its brand around likes since the time it was launched. However, in recent times, it had come in for some sharp criticism for impacting the self-esteem of users adversely by placing a sense of importance on reaction to user’s posts. The removal of likes will mark a huge shift in the company’s strategy.
Facebook likes have become a critical data point that the SM giant makes use for targeted ads. These ads bring in the bulk of revenue to Facebook. The change in stance about likes and reactions is a clear sign that Facebook is looking for better engagement numbers.
Facebook makes use of DAU or Daily Active User (DAU) trend to know how people are using the platform. The company reported an increase of eight percent in its daily active users count. It has 1.59 billion daily active users in Q2.
However, recent research revealed that Facebook no longer dominates the teen demographic in the US as it did in the past. American teenagers are leaning more towards YouTube or Instagram.
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