Facebook follows Instagram's lead to trial hiding like count

The social network begins a test in Australia to remove the number of reactions on each post

In this April 25, 2019, photo a man walks past the thumbs up Like logo on a sign at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. Facebook reports earning on Wednesday, July 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
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Following in the footsteps of Instagram, Facebook has announced it will begin hiding likes on posts and pictures.

The social media site is set to launch a trial in Australia on Friday, September 27, which will make like count only visible to the author of the post.  Friends and viewers will only be able to see that others have reacted to the post, but not how many have done so.

Instagram began testing a similar update in Canada back in April, before rolling it out to a number of other countries – including Australia – in July.

Facebook has said that it will be gathering feedback throughout the test period to understand whether the change will improve people’s experience.

Unlike Instagram, Facebook offers its users a number of different ways to react to a post, including ‘love’, ‘wow’, ‘haha’, ‘sad’ and ‘angry’.

Both social networks are trialing the move in a bid to remove the pressure users may feel by having a visible like count, and while it is yet to be determined whether the test will be a permanent roll-out, Instagram has said it is “excited” by the early results.