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Hiding like counts on pixelfed.social timelines as a 24 hour experiment is turning out better than expected.

I find myself paying more attention to the content and appreciating it more without being influenced by an arbitrary number or count.

At this point, the feature would be opt-in and pixelfed.social will opt-in.

@dansup awesome! glad it’s an opt-in thing. you you be able to run metrics after a month or two against the db to see how many users turn it on/off and what if those that hid have a higher/lower number of likes than those that didnt or maybe number of comments. a lot to ask and not a controlled experiment, but be interesting to see

@TheKuroKuma This is opt-in at the instance level, users do not have a choice.

@dansup I kind of agree but in a way it gives the impression that the site is a ghost town. Same goes for comments. I visit pixelfed from time to time and i thought people weren't using it when i came back an hour or two ago.

I think it unintentionally gives the impression not as many people are using it as there really are. I understand the reasoning but it may push some away if they get the impression people aren't interacting. Same goes for Mastodon (but that's not your project. 😜 )

@AbacusSwitch @dansup Agreed. I really think making it optional would be the best solution.

Mastodon has it worse since like activities don't federate (whereas the pixelfed timelines are local), but I feel that likes are somewhat pointless if the counts don't show up.

@dansup does pixelfed also hide follow counts? I vaguely remember you talking about it, but not which side you landed on

@Satsuma Yes, you can hide follower/following like counts in the privacy settings!

@dansup awesome! I was wondering the other day if that was coming. Good defaults are important

@dansup can you still like posts and me notified that people have liked your posts if they are hidden? To me liking is an acknowledgement of someone's post when I don't have anything specific to comment

@wolfie Yes, the like count is only hidden on the timeline, and you can see the count for your own posts. If you view a post, the like count is displayed for all posts.

@dansup I like it. But I'm one of those extremists that would even like to see a social media service or instance without like functionality at all, just private bookmarks.

@dansup Does ”opt-in” mean having the like count or not having the like count?

@dansup why not hiding counts at all? They just feed ego and make people gather around few actors with big counts like on centralized social networks. Also because of ActivityPub counts are not reliable.

@alexl @dansup Yes retro-design can be a great differentiator with other platforms. Counters have only be created to stimulate more activity based on our tendency towards narcissism. If we want to build tools and not, again, services which makes people addicted we need to think about new design. Because Insta and else have been designed with that goal in mind. Giving back freedom to people online is not only a tech matters but also a design matter. :)

@imacrea @dansup yeah, UI/UX affects how we behave online like language affects the way we think.

@dansup

Similar experience with posting in general. I care more about who is interacting and how those interactions go when I’m not chasing “interactions.”
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