Facebook may stop showing 'likes' in effort to stop people worrying about popularity and focus on content

Agence France-Presse

The move could be beneficial for users' mental health, especially that of teenagers and young adults

Agence France-Presse |

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Facebook on Tuesday confirmed it is thinking about no longer making a public display of how many “likes” are racked up by posts.

Such a change could ease pressure to win approval with images, videos or comments and, instead, get people to simply focus on what is in posts.

The social media platform also announced that facial recognition technology applied to photos - the “tag suggestions” - would become an opt-in feature.

Facebook-owned Instagram earlier this year announced it was testing hiding like counts and video view tallies in a small number of countries, with account holders still able to see the numbers but masking amounts from others.

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“We are considering hiding like counts from Facebook,” a spokesman for the leading social network said on Tuesday.

Twitter has also experimented with hiding numbers of times tweets were liked or retweeted, according to product lead Kayvon Beykpour.

Twitter found that people engaged less with tweets when they couldn’t see the counts.

“When you remove engagement indicators, people engage less,” Beykpour said last month.