In brief: Like the company did with Instagram sometime ago, Facebook is now testing hiding like counts for users on its own site. The trial began on Friday for some users in Australia with no word yet from Facebook on whether this change will be expanded to other countries or made permanent in the future.
Back in April, Facebook's sister platform, Instagram, started a test of hiding like counts from posts which it later expanded to several countries. Now Facebook has started to remove likes/reactions on its own platform for users in Australia, which the company says is an attempt to reduce social pressure among users.
By taking the numbers out of the equation, "people can focus on the quality of their interactions and the quality of the content rather than on the number of likes or reactions," said Mia Garlick, Facebook's Head of Communications and Policy for Australia and New Zealand.
She also said that Facebook had consulted mental health experts and several anti-bullying groups over this change, something that had also been forecast by tech experts, allowing people to feel more comfortable sharing on the social media site instead of feeling part of a competition.
Mia assured that users would still be able to see like counts on their own posts and that businesses operating on the platform would continue to receive the same metrics and insights as before.
Commenting on the "tech-savvy" Facebook and Instagram users of Australia, she said "We think this is a great country where we can get some really good feedback about whether this is a valuable experience for people on our services or not."