In a super-competitive, digital world, the methods deployed during the course of business never fail to surprise us. A good example that recently sprung up has to do with Instagram’s Following tab, and Like Patrol, a third-party app that has been attempting to mimic it since its removal from the main app.
If you remember, Instagram removed the Following tab from its app earlier this month. For the uninitiated, the tab allowed you to discover what your friends and people you follow, were doing on the app. So for instance, if someone you followed liked a picture or commented on it, you could know about the same by visiting the Following tab.
However, the tab was not particularly used by Instagram users perhaps, because of the overabundance of content on their own feeds. What’s more, a section of users also felt that it was violating their privacy as their interactions if different content on the picture sharing platform was being broadcast to all their followers. In view of these reasons among others, the platform removed the tab.
While removing the app, Instagram’s Head of product Vishal Shah had said:
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
Incidentally, there is a third-party app called Like Patrol that does something very similar. In fact, it’s founder has taken to calling it the Following tab on steroids. With Instagram’s decision to remove the tab however, Like Patrol has received a boost in its userbase as the section of users who actually used Following, must now go to Like Patrol.
However, Instagram and it’s parent Facebook are not appreciative of this development. Speaking with CNET, a Facebook spokesperson said:
Scraping violates our policies, and we take action against companies who we find to be engaging in it. Like Patrol was scraping people’s data, so we are taking appropriate enforcement action against them.
The company has already issued a cease-and-desist letter to Like Patrol. Let’s see how the company, flush with the removal of the Following tab, responds to this development.