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Instagram has removed a section of its app which was referred to by many as a “stalker” tool.
The ‘Following’ tab was an area that existed within the ‘Activity’ tab which let users see how people they’re following were engaging with content on Instagram.
Similar to how the ‘Activity’ tab lists the recent likes and comments on your own content, the ‘Following’ tab listed which posts and comments were recently liked by people you’re following.
The ‘Following’ tab would also track when someone you’re following started following another user. Virtually all activity from people you’re following could be found in that tab – the only thing it didn’t track was was comments they left on other users’ content.
Now, the days of “stalking” your followers are over, as Instagram has completely removed the ‘Following’ tab from its app. Reports began surfacing earlier this week that this change would be coming sooner than later.
The feature has been around since 2011, but Instagram’s head of product tells Buzzfeed News that it wasn’t widely used because many people didn’t know about it:
“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 it for, but it’s also causing people to be surprised when their activity is showing up.”
This appears to be a server-side change, meaning it has rolled out without the need for an app update. So those who may have been hoping to keep the ‘Following’ tab by avoiding app updates are out of luck.