Say goodbye to flexing all the love reacts you got for that fire DP. Starting today, Facebook is officially pulling an Instagram and hiding like counts on your posts. Twitter (TWITTER!) may become the only social media site left where numbers exist if Zuck has his way.
The head honchos over at Facebook have said a similar thing to when they stopped Instagram likes. Basically that likes and the pressure of getting likes/the social anxiety etc is affecting people’s wellbeing in a big way. Mental health professionals back this up – competing to feel validated via likes essentially isn’t good for anyone.
By taking away likes/vid views/reactions counts, Zuck and Co. say they want users to be able to interact with each more meaningfully. Sure Jan. Insta took away likes earlier this year with the same explanation, and their advertisers are loving it.
Facebook has adopted Insta’s logic – getting stressy about like counts is holding you back from posting content more often (can’t really argue with that). But on the other hand, the more the platform can learn about you through content you post, the better it can sell stuff to you. FB might be trying to do their bit for mental wellbeing, but they’re being paid in kind with a tonne of personal data.
It’s also hella suss that Facebook hasn’t specified if the change is permanent or not – it’s being called a trial but doesn’t have an end date. Instagram has now been like-free for over two months with no end in sight. Will removing likes be enough to curb the harmful mental impacts of Facebook? We’ll have to wait and see.