Are you obsessed with likes? Well, Facebook might remove their counts.
Facebook wants to know whether its users would prefer like, reaction, and video view counts to be hidden from posts — and, starting today, it’s already testing this in Australia.
A company spokesperson told TechCrunch that this is a “limited test,” with the purpose of gathering feedback “to understand whether this change will improve people’s experiences.”
The way the test is currently implemented, like, reaction, and video view counts aren’t completely gone, they’re just private to everyone except the post’s author. Other users can still see who liked or reacted to a post, so I guess they’ll be able to count them manually, but it certainly puts less emphasis on the sheer number of how many people pressed the like button under a post. Comment counts will still be displayed, though.
TechCrunch says no further tests are currently scheduled, but if the test proves successful, the “hidden” like counts could roll out to other regions or even globally.
Multiple studies have shown that like counts — and like culture in general — can be detrimental to mental health. Last year, Mashable’s Karissa Bell suggested Facebook should do away with the like button altogether. Facebook doesn’t appear to be ready to go that far yet, but this latest test may be a move in the right direction.