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The best reactions to Zayn Malik leaving One Direction

Zayn Malik of One Direction performs onstage at the 2014 American Music Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on Nov. 23, 2014, in Los Angeles.

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Last Updated Mar 25, 2015 4:20 PM EDT

Zayn Malik's One Direction exit announcement caused a social media stir on Wednesday -- sparking everything from tears to cheers.

Malik said in a statement that his time with One Direction "has been more than I could ever have imagined."

"But, after five years, I feel like it is now the right time for me to leave the band," he said. "I'd like to apologize to the fans if I've let anyone down, but I have to do what feels right in my heart...I am leaving because I want to be a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight."

Social media was abuzz Wednesday with posts from celebrities, Directioners and non-fans alike. See some of the best reactions to Malik's departure:

#vigil #AlwaysInOurHeartsZaynMalik #PleaseZaynBackForUs #WeStillLoveYouZayn

A photo posted by Courtney Act (@courtneyact) on

3-25-15 Our beloved Zayn has offically left the band. I understand now why. But i just cant cope with it. We all can agree that fake fans made him do this. Acussing him of CHEATING and putting so much stress on him. Its now that we see who the true fans are. We tried to save our boy but he just slipped right out of our hands. We will miss you so much Zayn. And we hope you change your mind and come back to see all the fans who stuck up for you. 😢😢😢😢❤❤❤❤ #SMOKEFREE1D #onedirection #niallhoran #liampayne #harrystyles #zaynmalik #louistomlinson #joshdevine #nosh #1d #5secondsofsummer #michaelclifford #ashtonirwin #calumhood #lukehemmings #5sos #alltimelow #blink182 #bvb #blackveilbrides #ptv #piercetheveil #1Dheretostay

A photo posted by WE MISS YOU ZAYN😭❤ (@innocenthoran) on

harry choked up at the last concert and zayn cried at his last show and we didnt think anything of it im so angry

A photo posted by katie 💦 (@alldaystylinson) on