Facebook has started a test which removes the public visibility of likes, reactions, and view counts for posts across its platform, Engadget reports.
The company’s initial test for this change will be exclusive to Australian users, and Facebook told Engadget that it has not decided whether the test will expand to other countries.
Australian users affected by the test will no longer be able to see the like count on any posts. Instead, they will see a line of text which states that the post in question was liked by one of their friends and “others”.
“We are running a limited test where like, reaction, and video view counts are made private across Facebook. We will gather feedback to understand whether this change will improve people’s experiences,” Facebook told TechCrunch.
Facebook said this test was aimed at improving users’ sense of well-being while retaining user engagement.
The company’s plans to test hiding the number of likes a post receives was first discovered earlier this month by security researcher Jane Manchun Wong.
Facebook is already running a similar test for Instagram, hiding the number of likes individual posts receive from public viewers.
The Instagram like-hiding test first rolled out in Canada earlier this year and has since expanded to seven countries.
This change aims to improve the user experience for everyday Facebook and Instagram users, although it may have a negative effect on influencers, who rely on the measurable interaction rate portrayed by the number of likes a post receives.