Facebook trials hiding likes for Australian user's


For the last 10 years at least, the Like button has been pretty much synonymous with Facebook.

Now, Facebook is rethinking this feature as part of a broader effort to make the social network less stressful to use.

Facebook has begun hiding the number of "likes" for posts in Australia, it said Friday, a trial created to ease social pressure that could be rolled out worldwide. The firm is said to have rolled out the new format to Australian users for now. However the social media company welcomed feedback from users.

Account-holders across the country will also be blocked from viewing the number of reactions and video views on other people's posts from Friday, but will still be able to see how people respond to their own.

Facebook also plans to collect feedback so it can understand if the change will improve user experiences.

The platforms have not said whether the trials will be extended or become permanent.

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Facebook is set to begin a test for hiding Likes.

Engadget reports that just shortly after removing the like count from photos on its photo-sharing app Instagram, Facebook is considering removing "likes" across its platform entirely.

Facebook has said the individual Facebook user will still be able to see the number of likes on their own posts. The information on counts will now only be available to the author of the post who can still the number of likes and reactions they get.

Facebook and Instagram may see different results from their respective tests.

But both tests could give the platforms insight into whether users feel more comfortable posting without public-facing likes, or whether that will hinder engagement and interactions.

While it may take time to reach a wider audience, the fact that Instagram's feature reached out to more countries gives me an inkling that Facebook won't limit its feature to just Australia.