Facebook considers hiding ‘Likes’ from people’s news feeds

PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 10: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg leaves the Elysee Palace after a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron on May 10, 2019 in Paris, France. President Macron and Zuckerberg will talk about cracking down the spread of misinformation and hate speech. (Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)
Could Facebook retire the Like button? (Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)

The ‘Like’ is one of Facebook’s most iconic features, but could its days be numbered?

The social network is considering hiding the Like counter on posts in News Feed - in a move designed to stop users feeling envious.

Instead, other users will see mutual friends who have liked the post, as opposed to a total number of Likes.

The feature was spotted in an early version of the Facebook Android app by Jane Manchun Wong, TechCrunch reports.

Facebook-owned Instagram is already testing a similar feature in seven countries, including Canada and Brazil.

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The adapted feature could stop social media users from comparing themselves to others or feeling envious if posts don’t get enough likes.

In 2016, researchers at the University of British Columbia and the Technische Universität Darmstadt found a worrying level of ‘bad’ emotions in Facebook users.

The researchers surveyed 1,193 students, and asked them about their feelings as they read Facebook.

They found that feelings of envy were widespread - and that envy was often the motivation for posting on Facebook.

People feel jealous after seeing ‘happy’ moments in other people’s lives, such as holiday photos - and post in an attempt to ‘keep up’.

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