Facebook might start hiding 'Like' counts for posts

Facebook and other internet firms have been under pressure to prevent their online platforms from being used to for deception or social manipulation, particularly regarding political issues

Facebook on Tuesday confirmed it is dabbling with no longer making a public display of how many "likes" are racked up by posts.

Such a change could ease pressure to win approval with images, videos or comments and, instead, get people to simply focus on what is in posts.

Facebook-owned Instagram earlier this year announced it was testing hiding like counts and video view tallies in more than a half-dozen countries, with account holders still able to see the numbers but masking amounts from others.

"We are considering hiding like counts from Facebook," a spokesman for the leading social network told AFP on Tuesday.

Twitter has also experimented with hiding numbers of times tweets were "liked" or "retweeted," according to product lead Kayvon Beykpour.

Twitter found that people engaged less with tweets when they couldn't see the counts.

"When you remove engagement indicators, people engage less," Beykpour said while briefing journalists at Twitter headquarters in San Francisco last month.