Instagram shuts down ‘creepy’ following tab

The feature had allowed for a lot of stalking, and the move is aimed at increasing users’ privacy
Last Updated 15 October 2019, 13:33 IST

Social media has become a platform to discover new content, learn new things and as much as you don’t want to admit, stalk other people. Instagram finally felt that they should control this aspect in some way and removed the ‘following’ tab that showed your friends’ activity feed.

The tab allowed you to see every post they were liking and new people they were following. When they followed a new person, you would be able to see that.

The only thing you couldn’t track were the comments they left on other users’ content.

While the initial idea of introducing this was to allow users to discover new things, it didn’t seem to serve the purpose.

In fact, many dubbed it the ‘stalking tab’. It led a lot of users to discover things about their friends that they would not otherwise have.

So when your calls or messages were being ignored, for all you know, they were busy liking some else’s Instagram post.

Many discovered that those they follow enjoyed nude photography and other explicit content.

The ‘following’ tab often became a source of conflict for friends and relationships.

Instagram launched the ‘following’ tab feature in 2011.

The heart tab that had the ‘following’ option has been completely removed from Instagram accounts now.

Your feed is now limited to what the people you follow post.

According to Instagram’s head of product Vishal Shah, not many were aware of the tab and even if they did, stalking is what it was mainly used for.

It allowed one to look at what your friends liked and followed.

Fortunately, not too many users knew about this feature.

The team also felt that they could use that space for something else in the future.

Does this affect anybody?

Not at all.

Everyone can go back to doing exactly what they were doing with their Instagram account.

The only difference is, people following you will not know about it. You can have your own privacy.

(Published 15 October 2019, 13:33 IST)

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