Will Hiding Likes Be an Effective Social Media Trend?

September 3, 2019

Social media sites want you to stop measuring your popularity based on likes or the number of subscribers you have. Some apps are even taking action to downplay certain metrics.

Facebook is reportedly testing out hiding like counts from news feed posts, a measure that the company is testing on Instagram, too. Researcher Jane Manchun Wong discovered Facebook's effort to hide like counts in its Android app. Facebook confirmed the tests to TechCrunch but declined to share public results from the Instagram tests or any schedule for further testing on Facebook.

If the change takes hold, likes won’t completely vanish. Users will be able to see how many likes their posts receive, but other viewers will see only a couple of names or faces followed by “and others.” The change is reportedly being tested in several countries including Canada, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Ireland, and Japan.

The reasons for this social media move: to help reduce anxiety brought on when users compare themselves to others and to remove the pressure to create popular posts.

YouTube will soon be abbreviating its public-facing subscriber count for those with more than 1,000 subscribers starting this month. TechSpot offers the following example: If a channel has 111,018 subscribers, users will now see the subscriber count reported as 111K, until the channel reaches 112K subscribers. Creators will be able to view exact subscriber counts in YouTube Studio and YouTube Analytics.

Back in May, YouTube revealed the change was coming. The site wants to reduce stress surrounding the public tracking of subscriber counts in real time. “We hope this helps all creators focus on telling their story, and experience less pressure about the numbers,” YouTube said.