I decided to use favs (id's of users which marked that post as a favorite) as a comma separated list in a favs column which is also in messages table with sender,url,content etc..
But when I try to count those rows with a query like:
where favs like '%userid%'
With a few or's, you can have an ugly solution:
select count(id) from messages where favs like 'userid,%' or favs like '%,userid,%' or favs like '%,userid'
There's likely a more elegant solution, but that one will at least return the result you're looking for, I believe.