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Facebook may have a like-hiding feature in the works

Facebook may be experimenting with like-hiding. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Facebook may be experimenting with like-hiding. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Instagram recently rolled out a new option in which the like (or reaction) count of a given post could be concealed from any user but the creator in question. Now, an analysis of new code in the Facebook app for Android indicates that this site will do the same. The feature is said to have been instituted for a number of reasons, some of which are related to mental health online.

Recently, Instagram implemented a measure by which a user could turn the like-counter, as well as indications of other responses, for posts on this platform off. This feature had reportedly been developed in accordance with research that indicates the effect of these "metrics" on user mental health.

In other words, there is some evidence that people online may be inclined to pin their psychological or emotional state on how many likes, reactions or both their own social media content receives, particularly when compared to that of others. Alternatively, like-counts may impose a bias on the chances a given post will be viewed or shared.

On the other hand, the Instagram "like-hiding" feature still allows a user to see how many likes (and so on) their own posts accumulate. The prolific code analyst Jane Manchun Wong now reports that this feature may be transferred to Facebook in the near future.

On the other hand, the experimental code on which this claim is based is apparently only as a hidden piece of code on this site's Android app, and may yet never see widespread adoption in any case.

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Deirdre O Donnell, 2019-09- 3 (Update: 2019-09- 3)