At the beginning of the month, Instagram removed its ‘Following’ tab. This feature, which was within the ‘Activity’ tab, allowed you to see the posts and comments recently liked by people you followed. It would also notify you when someone you were following started to follow another user. Now, only the ‘Activity’ tab can be found on the social media platform, which only shows you the recent likes and comments on your own posts.
The Changing Purpose of Instagram’s Following Activity Tab
Often referred to as a “stalker” tool, Instagram’s Following Activity Tab has been around since 2011. Implemented before the platform’s incredibly popular ‘Explore’ tab, the ‘Following’ tab was one of the best ways for users to discover new content. That was no longer true once the ‘Explore’ tab was introduced.
Instead, the ‘Following’ tab became a way for users to basically keep tabs on their friends and people they followed. There are plenty of horror stories on the internet of people being caught liking posts they weren’t supposed to. Vishal Shah, Instagram’s head of product, told BuzzFeed News that one of the reasons the feature was removed was because many users didn’t know it existed and were unhappy when they found out their activity was being publicized.
“People didn’t always know that their activity is surfacing,” Shah said. “So you have a case where it’s not serving the use case you built it for, but it’s also causing people to be surprised when their activity is showing up.” – Vishal Shah, Head of Product at Instagram 1
Reactions to The ‘Following’ Tab Being Removed
Instagram removed “following activity” tab and I ain’t even notice bc I really don’t be checking for what people be doing lol
— Lisa Turtle🇭🇹 (@tinaqueen_15) October 8, 2019
Reactions to the disappearance of the ‘Following’ tab have been mixed. Many users are happy that their followers can no longer track their activity or “stalk” them on Instagram.
RIP to the creepiest part of Instagram https://t.co/pElUH7WBAv
— kate conger (@kateconger) October 7, 2019
Other users are sad to see this “useful” tool go for a myriad of reasons.
no more snapchat best friends, face/thumb unlock on iphones AND no following tab on insta. cheaters are eating
— jabookie (@jaboukie) October 9, 2019
— Rachel (@RachD1214) October 8, 2019
Some are suggesting the feature be brought back, but with an opt-in or opt-out option.
@instagram BRING BACK THE FOLLOWING TAB ARE👏🏻 YOU👏🏻 CRAZY👏🏻 Or at least give us the option if we want our activity shown on the page or not. Don’t just take it away🤦🏻♀️ #instagram pic.twitter.com/QliyaJbb1y
— trey💋💨 (@allthingstrey) October 8, 2019
Whichever side you land on, it doesn’t seem like Instagram has plans to bring back the feature any time soon.
Tandem Interactive is a South Florida full-service digital marketing agency serving clients nationwide. Our Fort Lauderdale SEO company specializes in organic SEM, social media, neuromarketing, visual marketing, and reputation management in South Florida and throughout the country. We are also a Fort Lauderdale PPC agency offering award-winning pay-per-click, remarketing, and other paid online advertising services. Contact us or call (954) 519-4114 today to find out how #TeamTandem can launch your company to the next level!
- Katie Notopoulos, BuzzFeed News – Horny People, You’re Free: Instagram’s Following Tab Is Gone