The Instagram mobile app is going through some changes, as soon the “Following” tab from the Heart menu will disappear. Instagram confirmed the news today, saying that it’s removing the following tab for a number of reasons. Chief among them is that is seems most users didn’t know it even existed.
As it is, users access the Following tab by tapping on the Heart icon in the app. This is how you check the recent likes and comments your posts have received along with any new followers you’ve netted for yourself, but at the top of that page, tapping on the “Following” tab will show you an entirely different feed of activity from the people you’re following – the posts they’ve been liking and who they’ve started following themselves.
The problem with people being unaware that the Following tab existed in the first place is twofold: the first part, obviously, is that a feature that goes unutilized by the majority of users probably isn’t worth keeping around. Secondly, sometimes those who learned that the Following tab was a thing were alarmed that their Instagram activity was being published in a spot for others to see.
“People didn’t always know that their activity is surfacing,” Vishal Shah, Instagram’s head of product said in an interview with BuzzFeed News. “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.”
So, starting this week, the Following tab is out and the Heart feed will begin showing only your own activity. With the Explore tab now Instagram’s preferred way for users to discover new content, it’s hard to imagine the Following tab will be missed, but once it disappears, it’ll be quite a bit harder to stalk your friends by viewing their Instagram activity.