Only a few months ago, Instagram began hiding how many likes posts received in test regions like Canada. Facebook, Instagram’s parent company, seems to be following suit and testing out hiding likes on its social media platform.
Keen-eyed reverse engineer Jane Manchun Wong reported on her blog that Facebook’s Android app has hidden code that, if accessed properly, hides the number of likes and reactions. Like Instagram, although users won’t know the count, they will be able to see who has liked or reacted in a certain way.
This change has not yet been publicly released or prototyped in the way Instagram’s feature has been. However, Facebook representatives have confirmed with TechCrunch that hiding likes was in the works, but no timeline has been published as of yet.
While there is little official information on the move, Facebook following Instagram’s footsteps likely has the same core issue in mind: user’s mental health. Likes are ways users compare themselves to others, potentially leading to poor self-image, among other things. Without seeing the likes, the social media platforms could be attempting to create a more healthy environment.
It is important to note that Instagram’s own hidden like feature has not yet been released to its entire user base. We still do not know whether or not this will have a full rollout of not. Because of this and the timing of this discovery, Facebook decision to add their own hidden like feature will likely be tied to the fate of Instagram’s.