While the social networking site hasn't made any official announcement, the potential feature was uncovered by data miner Jane Manchun Wong, who reversed-engineered Facebook's Android app and posted the findings on her blog.
However, far from just being some form of accidental code, it turns out there is truth to it as Facebook confirmed to TechCrunch that it's considering a test that would hide like counts, but that the test hasn't started running yet.
"By hiding the like/reaction counts from anyone other than the post creator, users might feel less anxious about the perceived popularity of their content", wrote Wong. That means only you will be able to see your posts' like counts, just like the feature works on Instagram.
Instead, other users will see mutual friends who have liked the post, as opposed to a total number of Likes. Negative criticisms claim that going after likes lead to an inauthentic portrayal of life on social media. After experiencing some time with Instagram, Facebook - the owner of the first - seems willing to take the step and see how this decision could affect users on its leading platform, which bears his name.
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Before Facebook starts running trials of the new feature, there's no way of telling if it will be a success. It's not clear when, if ever, Instagram will make the feature available to U.S. users. Facebook wants to avoid scenarios such as "Look how many Likes they get".
Meanwhile, 2016 UCLA study found that teenagers are heavily influenced by the number of "likes" on a post, and are more likely to engage with a post if many other people have already done so.
In the past few years, negative effects brought by online networks have become a topic of hot debate, with experts pointing to issues such as platform addiction and unhealthy obsession to seek social media validation.
The researchers surveyed 1,193 students, and asked them about their feelings as they read Facebook.