FACEBOOK IS considering testing removal of ‘Like' counts against posts.
App researcher Jane Manchun Wong was digging around in the code of the latest Android .apk for Facebook and discovered code that would hide the ‘Like' counter from everyone except the original poster.
Instead, they'll see any mood emojis which have been used, and a note saying that the post has been "liked by [a person who liked it] and others".
Facebook confirmed to Techcrunch that there were indeed plans for a test, but that it was yet to rollout to anyone.
This is the second Facebook brand to go down this route - Instagram is also running tests to hide ‘Like' figures in seven countries.
The idea is that by not being able to see what other people think, you won't be inhibited to express your own opinion openly. For the OP it means It's also said to stop people getting all twisted in knots over whether they've had enough dopamine and peer group approval.
The question is - what will "success" look like, for Facebook? What if there's evidence that it is improving mental health, but simultaneously slashing Facebook revenue? It's going to be an interesting exercise in seeing just how much social responsibility that Zuck and co actually have, and how much sway that investors have to override it.
On the other hand - it could be a win-win. The tests could show an increase in engagement amongst those who are currently uncomfortable posting, thinking that their contributions to Facebook aren't as appreciated as those who put up new photos every time their baby rolls over or their dog farts.
In other words - this could be a killer move in terms of widening the reach of Facebook, which is going to play well with advertisers who, let's face it, keep Mr Zuckerberg in dogs made of mops and electrical tape for his webcam. μ
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