Australia’s The First Country To Hide Facebook’s Likes

First it was Instagram, and now Facebook has followed quickly behind.

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Facebook to hide Likes, starting in Australia

The publishing platform has targeted the Land Down Under as the first place to test the new feature before potentially rolling it out elsewhere.

It will look and act the same as the change made to Instagram earlier this year, meaning the post will simply say one person has liked this ‘and others’. Video views will also be hidden from people’s posts and timelines.

The only person who will know how many likes and/or views will be the user. Interestingly, comments will still be shown however it’s not clear whether shares will be.

“We will gather feedback to understand whether this change will improve people’s experiences,” a Facebook spokesperson said.

In July, Instagram rolled out the same line, asking people to treat the platform as a way to inform your friends and family about what you’re up to rather than trying to get as many likes as possible.

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This move is all about trying to create a place where people aren’t hung up on the number of likes they get but rather producing good content.

Instagram Australia’s Director of Policy told Channel 7: “The idea is to just really let you focus on the content and the experience of engaging without being worried or feeling pressured over how many likes a post has received.”

Unsurprisingly, the move caused a massive reaction with influencers who were making a pretty penny off companies for flogging their product in exchange for loads of likes.

But while there were loads of people who genuinely burst into tears over the move, psychologists are hoping that it could lead to better mental health conditions for users.

Victoria University of Wellington senior lecturer in population health Dr Terry Fleming said it’s good to get rid of likes: “They do feed into our wish for social status and validation.

“The public validation of other people seeing lots of likes would feed into that slightly competitive social status thing. The amount of likes certainly indicates that people are watching.”

It’ll be interesting to see whether the change will be rolled out across the rest of the world once the test is done and dusted in Australia and whether we do feel happier as a result.


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