Facebook recently announced that it has started an initiative that will mask likes, reactions and views of posts from other users. This announcement from the social media platform is a response to concerns that feedback devices such as the ‘like’ button, emoji reactions and view tallies may be undermining the mental wellbeing of its users. As a result of the concerns, Facebook is starting a trial that will hide feedback metrics on other’s posts.
Facebook to Mask Likes, Reactions and Views
This trail by Facebook will begin in Australia. The trial will see likes, reactions and views being masked from other users. Only the post author will be able to view such engagement devices, with such responses hidden from view to all others. The decision to start this initiative was borne out of studies conducted by mental health professionals. The studies found such tools can spark an unhealthy competitive streak in many, as people strive to keep up with the Jones’s. With this initiative, Facebook is trying to restore the focus of status updates to the content itself rather than the noise it generates. Their hope is that more people will choose to share their thoughts and interests.
Facebook Speaks on the Initiative
Facebook Australia’s director of policy Mia Garlick spoke about the initiative. She stated that they have had positive feedback from a lot of the anti-bullying groups and mental health organizations that they work with concerning the initiative. She stated that it 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.
This decision follows a similar change at Instagram which began in July with Facebook stressing that business users can continue to draw on existing metrics.