Instagram likes: should they be banned or brought back?

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Instagram is testing a new feature where the number of likes a post receives will be hidden to audience members but not the owner. The company hopes that this will allow users to be more free with what they share.

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As likes on Instagram are disappearing in an experiment on accounts all across the world, people are left with one burning question: why? 

“We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get,” Instagram said.

According to students at White Station, a major reason for discontinuing likes is to ensure genuine content.

“I feel like a lot of people just worry about what they’re posting and if people will like it,” Sara Griffith (11) said. “If you have a personal account, it should be your account meant for friends, so post what you like.” 

Another purpose is to improve mental health.

“If someone has anxiety, they’re worried about how many likes they’re getting because they want everyone to like them,” Ivy Qui (11) said. “This allows them to not worry about feeling judged.” 

The update decreases the pressure to post more or to receive more likes and followers.

“Eliminating the likes under the post is a good step in the right direction,” Joshua-James Claybon (12) said. “A lot of people feel like they’re better than others just because they get more likes under a post and more followers than another person.” 

Although temporary and only implemented in a small population, the update may give users more freedom rather than pressure. 

“At first, I was mad… now I feel more confident with the new updates and change,” Qui said. “I can post what I want because no one is going to judge me based on how many likes I have.”