Instagram upgrade stops you snooping on what your friends are doing
WHILE most of the attention has been reserved for Instagram's emo-phase new dark mode, the social media service quietly rolled-out another update this week. And this one clamps down on your ability to snoop on who your friends are following, what posts they’ve liked, and which posts they’re commenting on.
Instagram will ditch the ability to snoop on your friends' activity without their knowledge this week.
Yes, as well as rolling-out a stunning new dark mode to its app on both iPhone and Android, the Facebook-owned social network will also delete the Following tab in its apps.
For those who don’t know, the Following tab – the fourth icon from the left along the bottom of the app interface – shows a timeline of the latest activity from the accounts you’re following. So, when a friend comments on a photo, a friend follows a new C-list celebrity, or a loved one likes a photo – it’s all listed on the feed.
After the change, Instagram will only list your own activity in the feed. And that’s it. So there’s no way you can check on what your followers are up to except, you know, asking them.
According to Instagram Head of Product Vishal Shah, the company ditched the tab for the sake of simplicity. It claims most users didn’t even know the feature existed.
“People didn’t always know that their activity is surfacing,” Instagram’s Shah told BuzzFeed News.
“So you have a case where it’s not serving the use case you built if for, but it’s also causing people to be surprised when their activity is showing up.”
Instagram quietly experimented with removing the Following tab for a select number of users back in August.
Clearly, that test went well because they’ve now ditched the tab for everyone.
Removing the ability to track exactly what your friends and family are up to on Instagram might be a good thing.
After all, is it really any of your business if a friend has started following an ex-boyfriend, or a singer that’s dangerously close to the Guilty Pleasure end of the spectrum.