Tue. Oct 22nd, 2019

Facebook says it is going to hide Likes for some users to improve their mental health

Facebook says that it is going to hide Likes on some posts on trial basis to see if it improves the mental health and users experience for users or now. The information has been revealed by a senior Facebook executive in Australia.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Facebook will hide the iconic Likes button for some users.
  • Facebook will hide the Likes button to improve users’ mental health.
  • This feature is being rolled out in Australia.

Likes: how many do you have them? On some Facebook posts, for some Facebook users it may soon be a question that won’t have any answer. The social media giant, which has made the Like button a part of the culture in 21st century, is starting a trial in Australia that will see the Likes vanishing from some Facebook posts. The move is aimed at improving the mental health of Facebook users.

Mia Garlick, director of policy at Facebook Australia, said the step has been taken after feedback from mental health professionals, who researched the use of Like button and then found that number of Likes may cause people to compare themselves socially. This in turn may impact the mental health of some Facebook users.

“We’ve had really positive feedback from a lot of the anti-bullying groups and mental health organisations that we work with,” Garlick said, according to the Guardian. “It really is just taking that number out of the equation, so that people can focus on the quality of their interactions and the quality of the content rather than on the number of likes or reactions.”

In a separate statement to AP, Facebook spokesperson said that removing likes can also help users focus on quality of the post. “”(It is about) taking that number out of the equation, so that people can focus on the quality of their interactions and the quality of the content rather than on the number of likes or reactions,” spokeswoman Mia Garlick told the AP.

Earlier in April, Facebook-owned Instagram started to hide Likes on some posts as part of a trial. This began in Canada but then was expanded to six other countries. The idea was that by removing the Likes, Instagram hoped to cut down on tendency of users to conflate Likes with quality or popularity. At F8, which is Facebook’s developer conference, an Instagram spokesperson told TechCrunch that by removing Likes the social media site wanted users to focus on actual quality of the post.

The spokesperson had said, “Later this week, we’re running a test in Canada that removes the total number of likes on photos and video views in Feed, Permalink pages and Profile. We are testing this because we want your followers to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get.”

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