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Facebook considers hiding ‘like’ counts

Facebook considers hiding 'like' counts

Lionel Bonaventure | AFP | Getty Images

Facebook could soon follow in the footsteps of Instagram by hiding public-facing “like” counts.

The new feature, which was first spotted by coder Jane Manchun Wong, would hide the number of likes on a particular post from everyone but the original poster. All other users will be able to see if a friend of theirs liked it, but not a full list of users who liked the post.

Facebook confirmed to CNBC it is considering a test to hide like counts, but the company didn’t say when it plans to begin public testing of the feature.

In May, Facebook-owned Instagram launched a test of its “like” ban in Canada before rolling it out to Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Italy, Brazil and Japan in July. Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri characterized the move as a way to make a “less pressurized environment” on the app, as many users often zero in on the app’s metrics, which can cause anxiety.

“We don’t want Instagram to feel like a competition,” Mosseri said in April.

Experts have noted that the removal of public-facing likes could have wide-ranging impacts on influencer marketing, which thrives on Instagram. It could lead to higher quality influencer content, as well as push users to consume more video on the platform.

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