In a rather major update, Instagram has decided to remove the “Following” tab from its plethora of features. The tab, which usually takes the form of an activity feed that shows you the posts your friends/people you follow, are interacting with.
Instagram has been experimenting with phasing the feature our since August, and according to report, this week is the last we will see of the Following tab. Going forward, you will only be able to see your own activity under the hearts tab.
Apparently, the company is removing the feature due to underuse. As per Instagram’s head of product Vishal Shah:
People didn’t always know that their activity is surfacing. 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.
The Following feature has been around for quite a while now. In fact, it was launched all the way back in 2011 when even the Explore tab wasn’t there. Sort of like how you discover posts based on what your friends are liking on Facebook, the Following feature was the primary method for people to discover new content back in the beginning.
However, at present the Explore tab, which shows up posts based on what’s popular and trending as well as similar to your interests, has become the primary source of new content to consume on Instagram.
Meanwhile, netizens have mixed reactions to the move. While a few have expressed sadness at the prospect, most are relieved. After all, a lot of heartache can be caused when someone doesn’t reply to your messages, but is busy interacting with other content on Instagram – a fact that is all too visible in the Following tab.
Well, goodbye Following feature. It was good while it lasted.