Facebook's Considering Ditching the Like Count

By Alyse Stanley on at

Soon it may get harder to size yourself up while scrolling through your feed. At least, on Facebook that is. There are still plenty of other social media platforms out there to make you feel inadequate.

Facebook may soon drop the Like counter off News Feed posts, Techcrunch reported Monday, a feature it began testing in April on another of the company’s apps, Instagram. While Facebook hasn’t released any of its findings from these tests so far, things appear to have been a hit at least, as reports say it soon expanded trials from just Canada to six other countries.

Jane Manchun Wong first discovered evidence of Facebook’s new prototype in its Android app Monday. The tech blogger has developed an online following through her hobby of reverse engineering apps for fun and building prototypes based on the scoops she uncovers (like the previously mentioned testing on Instagram). Meanwhile, I take naps for fun. There, you see, no Like counter even needed to feel inadequate.

Based on Wong’s findings, Facebook’s unreleased feature appears to function identically to the one tested on Instagram. Users can see how many total Likes their own posts get. On everyone else’s posts, though, users can only see the names of people who liked or reacted to them. If you want to split hairs, yes, I suppose you could just count up all the names listed and still come up with a total tally for a post. But that is a whole new level of pettiness.

Facebook later confirmed to Gizmodo that the company was considering testing this feature, with no answer as to when or where it could potentially roll out. So at least for now, you can continue gauging your self-worth from the number next to those little emojis. If Facebook ultimately chooses to push forward with testing, it’s likely to unfold in a similar manner to Instagram’s. That is, by increasing the size of the trial group in small increments in case the idea ultimately flops and Facebook needs to pull the plug before losing significant usage or ad revenue.

It’s ironic to consider Facebook, of all places, getting rid of its Like count, considering its platform helped start the trend of what’s essentially become an online dick-measuring competition. While trashing that feature obviously wouldn’t solve all of Facebook’s problems, I consider it a step in the right direction, and one that I hope other platforms would follow.

Featured image: Mary Altaffer (AP)