Likes counts could soon disappear from all social media. This experiment is already underway on Instagram and is being considered by Facebook.

Jane Manchun Wong is an engineer specialized in data app research. In one of her last blog post, she was guessing that Facebook is considering removing Likes after finding out, within the Android app, code allowing to hide the number of likes of a post to users. The screenshot below, published on her Twitter, shows that the user who created a post can still see names of people and their emojis reaction but a number won’t be revealed anymore. Instead, it would be written “liked by [friend’s name] and others”. For Wong, these moves “indicates that Facebook/Instagram have confidence the pros of hiding like counts outweigh the cons”.

(Image credit: Jane Manchun Wong on Twitter)

Mirroring Instagram’s test

After being contacted by TechCrunch, Facebook recently confirmed Wong’s speculation and is considering launching Likes-removal trials. A couple of months ago, the group already tested a similar approach on Instagram in several countries : Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Japan and New Zealand. These actions are aiming to make users to be more focus on sharing experience and no longer on competition between them.

Improve mental health issues

Just like for Instagram, Facebook wants to improve well being of its users. Some of them, especially younger ones, are constantly looking for likes and fame on social media.There is a huge amount of studies, showing how these platforms have impact on mental health and even lead to depression and anxiety.

In 2018, a study published by Pew Research Center revealed that 37% of teens sharing social content feel pressure about having a lot of likes and comments. To overcome these mental health issues, hiding likes counts might be a solution.