Instagram Is Dropping the 'Following' Tab, Making It Harder to Stalk Your Friends

Illustration for article titled Instagram Is Dropping the 'Following' Tab, Making It Harder to Stalk Your Friends
Image: Instagram

Instagram is killing the feature that allows users to track the activity of everyone they follow.


BuzzFeed reported on Monday that the “Following” tab that shows comments, likes, and follows of other users is going away. Soon the heart icon will only lead to a tab that shows your own activity.

As BuzzFeed points out, Instagram introduced the Following feature in 2011 and it initially served as an effective way to find new accounts. But in 2012, Instagram launched the “Popular” section, which turned into “Explore” and has become the main tool for serving users new content and pulling them into digital rabbit holes.

Instagram VP of product Vishal Shah told BuzzFeed that the Follow feature isn’t widely used and the company thinks that many users only find out about it through uncomfortable situations “People didn’t always know that their activity is surfacing,” Shah told BuzzFeed. “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.”

A Facebook spokesperson confirmed to Gizmodo that, starting today, Instagram is removing the “Following” tab.

According to Shah, the main reason Instagram is booting the feature is that it wants “simplicity” within the app.

Some users are already lamenting the loss of the Follow section,—like Slate reporter Ashley Feinberg who uses the feature to monitor all the weird things public figures are into.


Now users can like strange and horny content with abandon, free of concern that friends, exes, and journalists will be watching to see what they’re tapping.


Former senior reporter at Gizmodo


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I’ve been told the follow tab is precisely why so many people have secondary instagram accounts that are locked down as private and only used to follow things. Not that I would know from experience or anything...