Instagram No Longer Allows Its Users to Follow Other Users' Activities

You can no longer stalk what others are doing or commenting on.
Fabienne Lang
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If you were part of the first users to the Instagram app, you are most likely acquainted with its 'Following Activity' tab. It's time to bid farewell to this underused part of the social media app, as it will disappear this week

The Following Activity tab was initially installed to enable users to follow and see what other users were doing. People could grow their network. 

Now, it is hardly used, leading to Instagram's decision to remove it entirely. 


Why is it hardly used?

Back in 2011, the Following Activity tab was all the rage. As it came well before the Explore tab, it allowed users to see more widespread content that their fellow Instagram users were liking, commenting on, or following. 

It was an easy way to grow connections and likes when the app first launched. 

Instagram No Longer Allows Its Users to Follow Other Users' Activities
Instagram's Following Activity tab. Source: Gizmodo/Twitter

Now that the Explore tab is firmly in place, allowing users to explore content on Instagram, the Following Activity tab is rarely being used. In fact, most people don't even know it exists. 

Vishal Shah, Instagram's head of product, told BuzzFeed News that "It wasn't a feature people used frequently and that the company suspected many users didn't know it existed. And for those that did, it was often a source of unwelcome surprises."

Shah continued: "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."

Unwanted attention through the tab

Upon hearing the news that the tab would be discontinued, many users were surprised to know that their activity could be viewed, let alone followed. 

However, for those who had — to their knowledge, privately — liked or commented on questionable content, well, they can rest easy now, without having to worry about others following their activities on the app.

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That said, some Twitter users voiced their 'grief' over losing the tab: 

However, the main reason behind the removal of the tab feature is not to do with unnerving Instagramers the world around. It has to do with simplicity. 

The founders of Instagram, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, left the company last year; allegedly over disputes with Facebook changing the app and 'Facebookifying' it. As new additions to the app are added; now older, less frequently used ones are being discarded. 

Even though the company is adding new features to the app, it does want to keep it simple. 

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