DemographicsTechnology & Robotics

Facebook hints at hiding ‘likes’

In Facebook’s Android app, an engineer has found prototype code that indicates it might test hiding the amount of likes a post receives. The code was discovered by Jane Manchun Wong, which was not enabled.

Instagram, which is also owned by Facebook, is conducting a comparable test in seven nations including Canada and Brazil, where the amount of likes they attract can only be seen by the account holder in the test. Facebook has refused to comment. Some studies have suggested that the pressures of popularity in social media may influence mental health, especially among young individuals.

Ms Wong wrote a blog post about her discovery, pointing out that she is not working for the tech giant. “Experimental features like this need time to evolve, observe, study, and release,” she said. “Experimental characteristics might come and go, but I’m sure that hiding the audience like counts will benefit a big portion of users ‘ digital well-being.”

Capitalist venture Ellen Pao tweeted that the transition is overdue if it occurs. “As soon as 2014, social platforms knew that social media had an impact on mental health and only now is Facebook beginning to conceal like counts,” she said. Instagram said its experiment findings are not yet prepared to be shared.

“We hope this exam will remove the pressure of how much a post will receive, so you can concentrate on sharing the stuff you enjoy,” said Mia Garlick, strategy director of Facebook Australia and New Zealand, in a declaration when announcing the Instagram trial.

Article originally featured by BBC.

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