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Facebook is Considering Removing ‘Likes’

  • by Alan Hobbs
  • 4 Years ago
  • Comments Off

The world’s largest social media network may soon be doing away with one of its trademark features: Likes.

Facebook has confirmed it has already been testing hiding user engagements such as “likes” with posts on Instagram, and that it might now be rolling out similar tests with Facebook itself. Purportedly, users will still be able to see the number of ‘likes’ and reactions on their posts, but others will not. That way, you won’t need to feel so jealous of all the ‘likes’ your friends are getting because you won’t know! Conversely, you won’t need to delete your less popular and thus less-liked posts, because again, nobody else will know!

Some argue this could dissuade people from using the service as it would take away a semi-competitive feature that encourages users to improve the quality of their posts in order to be publicly rewarded with attention. Others contend that this competition could be putting a strain on users’ mental health and that it might be incentivizing users to be ‘fake’, which could also be driving people away from the platform.

Both sides of the debate have a point. It is useful to have a clear record of engagements on posts to gauge their popularity, but the feature probably does cause users to self-censor when their genuine opinions would be good to know. Additionally, it very well could be causing unnecessary anxiety for some users.

Time will tell what becomes of the “like” feature. Despite some of the potential benefits of its removal, we’ll have to leave a “shocked face” reaction if it’s every truly gone. Of course, by then nobody will be able to see it.

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