The end of the reign of Instagram likes?


Graphic by Amy Kang

Regina Payne, Contributing Writer

A question you might ask yourself after being chosen as a test subject on Instagram is “Instagram is deleting the like button?” However, that isn’t the full truth.

Instagram is testing a new feature that prevents you from viewing how many people have liked a post. The like button is still there, but there isn’t an accumulating number of likes that you can see. Instead, the only person who can see how many people liked the post is the person who posted it, your followers can see is if any people they follow have liked it. Instagram has already taken action with their new feature in Canada, Australia, Japan, Italy, Ireland, New Zealand and Brazil which is a great start to the renewal of Instagram. The removal of the like button will help us enjoy posting on Instagram and prevent us from being obsessed with likes.

Instagram has many reasons for deciding to follow through with their idea. They want your followers to focus on what you are sharing with them, instead of how many likes you are getting. Isn’t this one of the reasons why we get Instagram in the first place? We want to share a part of our lives with our friends. People shouldn’t worry about how many likes they are getting. Sometimes if we don’t get enough likes we end up deleting a post. The entire purpose of Instagram is to share memories with each other, such as special events, not to delete them for not getting enough attention.

Being worried about the likes you get can put a toll on your mental state. We can get obsessed with the number of likes we get, and not getting as many as you want can be demeaning. We tend to compare ourselves to others, and the number of likes we get can be a way of comparison. We can become so obsessed with it that it can cause us to become depressed or anxious about what we post, be always wondering what will get us the most likes, instead of actually posting what we want to. Getting rid of the likes will reduce the stress of wanting the fake validation and actually let us enjoy sharing with our friends.

But what about followers? It’s almost the same as likes, but just as a whole on your account. People look at that too, although it’s not as eye catching as likes. So removing the likes isn’t fully removing the risk of all the negative impacts that can happen.

Some people think removing the ability to see the amount of likes someone is receiving isn’t a good idea. There has been a recent competition of who has the most likes between a picture of Kylie Jenner’s baby and a picture of an egg. People liked to see the likes go up and down, and watching their like count to one of these pictures. But this is another form of obsession. Getting too into these competitions can be unhealthy for you, because you’ll always have this on your mind. Removing the like button would fix this problem.  

Instagram is doing its part on bringing us closer as a community by removing the ability to see the like count. This is a great change because they are helping to prevent your life from revolving around Instagram likes. We can start to focus on the better things in life, such as family and friends. This is a start to us being healthier and less obsessed about everything we post.