Instagram takes away likes, completely changes platform

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Photo by Paige Sanders

The most popular social media app, Instagram, recently took away the ability to see the amount of likes on a post. Likes are no longer visible on the platform.

Paige Sanders, Photography Editor-In-Chief

One billion people are active every month on the most popular social media app, Instagram. With updates and changes often made to this growing platform, Instagram recently made a significant change to the app, taking away likes on all posts.

A few weeks ago, likes disappeared on Instagram. Many users panicked as their self-esteem instantly declined from the vanish of their likes. Others cannot see the amount of likes someone else gets on their post, but the person who has the account and who owns it, can only see how many likes they have.

“Instagram started as a platform to share photos and experiences, but now social media and Instagram has seemed to create a large impact on the mental health of all users,” school counselor Alex Maas said.

“Instagram started as a platform to share photos and experiences, but now social media and Instagram has seemed to create a large impact on the mental health of all users,” ”

— Alex Maas

Vanishing of likes 

One of the reasons why Instagram took away likes relates to the correlation between social media, (specifically Instagram) and mental health. The suicide rate for young people ranging from the ages of 10 -24, has increased 56 percent between 2007 and 2017. Therefore, Instagram taking away likes was not a false act, but simply an important decision to decrease mental health issues.

Maas added, “Social media (Instagram) influences the minds and opinions of everyone and as people browse their latest feed, they have a reaction that impacts their emotional state.”

Significance of likes

For some people, Instagram is all about the numbers. The number of likes and the number of followers are all many users care about and some only use the app to track their likes and followers. Since likes are gone, users are not able to obsess over the numbers they are constantly checking.

“Instagram taking away likes doesn’t affect me because I never looked at them in the first place, but I have a few friends who constantly look at the number of likes they have,” senior Ryann Hanson said.

With the outcome of the removal of likes on Instagram, no likes equals less obsession over numbers on a screen, and more obsession on the life people are actually living.

“A lot of people should care more about their actual life than just sharing their life through on an app through a screen,” senior Sophie Watkins said.

Evolution of the platform 

Instagram started out as an app where people can share their life through pictures and be genuine about their posts. However, in the last few years content posted on Instagram has turned into a competition. Users are constantly taking pictures, editing pictures for numerous hours ensuring they look their best, and posting their photos at the right time so they can accumulate a significant amount of likes on their post. These rituals are unhealthy and mess with people’s brains as users think they need to present themselves as someone they are not.

Hanson explained people feel self-conscious about the amount of likes they gain and it messes with their brains, so she thinks Instagram taking away likes was for the best.

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Graphic by Jayne Diaz

From Instagram taking away likes, it caused a disruption to the platform as many users were upset and confused from the shocking change made to the platform. However, this removal of likes did more good than harm by making users on Instagram take a step back and focus more about the life in front of them, instead of focusing on the number of likes they receive and the non-realistic life on a screen.

“The pursuit of social media has caused people to become less genuine through what they share as many Instagram profiles have seemed to become disingenuous representations of people’s lives,” Maas said. “It has become an addiction for many and the pursuit of happiness has changed from genuine happiness to seeming as happy as possible through Instagram photos and profiles.”