Why Instagram’s Following Activity Tab Disappeared


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

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.

Other users are sad to see this “useful” tool go for a myriad of reasons.

Some are suggesting the feature be brought back, but with an opt-in or opt-out option.

Whichever side you land on, it doesn’t seem like Instagram has plans to bring back the feature any time soon.

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Sources

  1. Katie Notopoulos, BuzzFeed News – Horny People, You’re Free: Instagram’s Following Tab Is Gone

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