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Graphic by Tabby Burke '19

Removal of Instagram likes debated

January 27, 2020

Instagram, please remove likes


Graphic by Adam Greenlee '20

Instagram may be drifting away from letting users leave a like on posts.

As I scroll through Instagram, posts from friends, celebrities, meme accounts and puppies pass across my screen. Often, before even looking at the actual photo, my eyes instinctively go directly to the bottom left corner of their post: the amount of likes that the post received. Similarly, immediately after posting a photo to Instagram, I find myself frantically refreshing the app, watching the number of likes I receive pile up. I have engaged in this same routine for as long as I have had Instagram, around six years by now. Because of this, I have gotten into the habit of evaluating a post’s quality based on the number of likes it gains, rather than the actual photo.

Recently, Instagram has announced that they will be removing the visibility of the “like” feature by no longer posting the number of likes that other users receive on public posts. Users will, however, still be able to see the amount of likes on their personal posts, retaining the social aspect of the app that many people value. This change has already been implemented in seven countries, with the United States announcing to follow in the near future.
This change is promising as it reflects a new, more positive, online culture. For many users, Instagram’s purpose — either intentionally or not — is to serve as a platform for comparison. While we will still be bombarded with the perfect images and lives portrayed by both celebrities and our own friends, the removal of likes diminishes the added pressure of receiving an adequate amount of likes.
At first, removing likes may seem to take away a key aspect of social media: the sociability. However, I feel that this will prove to have the opposite outcome, as users are now tuned into which of their friends are interacting with their posts, instead of how many are. By deemphasizing numbers, the value is placed on people and their individual relationships with one another.

Because users cannot see each other’s likes, we will find ourselves indifferent to the amount of likes that we receive on any given post. This means that the routine of watching likes roll in after posting a photo, that so many of us are used to, will become obsolete. Hopefully through this change, Instagram’s culture will change from one of comparison and competition, to one in which a user can simply scroll through pictures of friends, celebrities, memes and puppies without pressure.

About the Writer
Photo of Molly Gold
Molly Gold '21, Staff Writer

After taking Intro to Journalism at the start of her freshman year, Molly Gold ’21 is excited to begin writing for the paper.
“I joined Inklings because...

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Instagram, please do not remove likes


Graphic by Molly Gold '21

Instagram announced the removal of likes in November 2019. The change is expected to take place later this year.

Instagram is a platform where people are able to share photos or videos to a wide range of audiences. Instagram allows you to leave a like or comment on someone’s post of a picture or a video. Personally, seeing who likes my posts and how many likes my post receives is interesting and exciting. Nevertheless, Instagram may ruin the fun by taking away the liking feature.

Instagram chief Adam Mosseri announced on Nov. 14 that his company would remove likes on posts. Instagram has since removed the liking feature in seven countries and America is set to be the eighth. As an avid Instagram user since fifth grade, I have always loved the aspect of being able to see who likes my posts as well as who likes other people’s posts because it makes me believe that people actually care about what I have to share. I am aware it sounds shallow that I care what people think of my posts, but why post or share things if no one cares?

Kids in the early 2000s used to watch TV for pleasure, but now the TV is used as background noise when on social media. For me, I’ll turn on a show and sit on the couch and just scroll through Instagram. Going through posts and liking people’s posts is satisfying enough for me. I enjoy doing this for hours, but if the likes were removed I would honestly not use the app as much. Removing this key component will simply leave Instagram users in outrage.

Another appealing aspect of posting something on Instagram is simply waiting for the likes to roll in. Even though likes are just a number and do not necessarily mean anything, I find it interesting to see how many likes I get.  After every time I post, I frequently refresh to see the amount of likes and anyone new that has liked or commented on it. On the contrary, I understand where Instagram is coming from as some people do obsess over the amount of likes they receive and will actually delete their post if the number is not to their standards. People have definitely become more concerned with popularity and the public’s perception of them due to Instagram’s liking feature, but if people are enjoying the feature, I do not see the need to remove it.

Instagram should not remove the liking feature, however, they should keep improving the app. It would be interesting to see if Instagram allowed games that you can play with one another in the direct message section. I love Instagram and cannot wait to see how many likes I get on my next post.

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