Instagram has decided to remove it’s “following” tab, a feature which has become somewhat of a “stalking” tool. The original intent of the feature was to aid users in account discovery. Today, Instagram users find that the Instagram Explore tab has become much more useful at that, helping them discover new accounts, places and hashtags to follow. Instagram claims that the Following tab on the other hand was only used by only a small portion of its audience, and so, they removed the feature. With the tab gone, users are now only left with seeing activity which relates to their account.
The “Following” tab was notably associated with “micro-cheating” simply because it had the ability to confirm when someone in a committed relationship was spending too much time liking someone else’s posts (think some Instagram model), or even doing so much as engaging with the Instagram content of their Ex. The same dilemma could even be seen in contexts revolving friendships as well, simply because it could allow users to see what their friends were doing on the app. For instance, if a friend had sent you a text and you didn’t respond, they could see your activity under the “Following” tab, which could give suggest that you were lying to them, or you didn’t care enough to answer their text.
Gossip tabloids also were known to follow the tab, as it had the potential to reveal who celebs are engaging with the most, which could serve as an indication for determining the possible personal and professional relationships of celebs.
When I used it, I’d see what my friends were into and that’s pretty much it. I also liked the feature because I liked knowing that my friends could see the things I like and who I follow. Although I wasn’t actively using the following tab, I found pleasure in using it while bored.
Yet, in knowing of it’s existence, it made me put off liking certain things knowing that others could see it. And so, I find this to be somewhat good on my end of things.
If anything I feel like this could cause a little trouble for media businesses who use the tab to keep up with celebs as I can see how it may have served some convenience in this aspect of things.