Social media likes can be so important to some that they can totally make or break someone’s self-esteem. In an attempt to make users less reliant on their social media popularity, Facebook has officially started hiding like counts on users posts.
The company has rolled out testing of this concept in Australia. The feature will allow the person who posts the content to see the number of likes, but not anyone else. Viewers of the content will only be able to see the names of those who liked the post, so technically if they really wanted to know they could count them. The feature is the same as what Instagram has rolled out in six countries including Canada and Australia.
According to a Facebook spokesperson, the outcome of this limited test will determine whether it expands to further countries.
“We are running a limited test where like, reaction, and video view counts are made private across Facebook,” said the spokesperson. “We will gather feedback to understand whether this change will improve people’s experiences.”
The tech company’s decision to test these types of features is reportedly influenced by studies that have shown a direct link between a person’s self-esteem and their social media likes. A 2014 study by Pew Research says 12% of Facebook users strongly dislike the pressure they feel to post popular content.
Will it be enough to fix the obsession people have with social media likes? It’s hard to say when the person posting the content can still see how many people like their post.