Instagram has confirmed the removal of the Following tab, thus taking away users’ ability to view the activity of other accounts.
On Monday, Instagram confirmed to Buzzfeed that the Following Tab has been removed in the latest version of the application, a feature that has helped users discover new content, led to heartbreak, or wasn’t even known about.
While Instagram’s head of product Vishal Shah stated “simplicity was the driving factor”, it’s suspected that the harmful effects resulting from one’s activity being unknowingly shared with others went into the removal decision, as well.
If you are using the latest version of the Instagram app, tapping the heart icon in the bottom menu will only display your own notifications — new followers, new post likes, mentions — instead of the activity of those accounts you’re following.
This Following tab was originally launched in 2011 to help users discover new content; however, it has since flown under the radar by many.
Those who did frequent the tab, as noted by Buzzfeed, were often met with “unwelcome surprises”. Shah said this was because “people didn’t always know that their activity is surfacing”.
In either case, removing this tab does simplify the application while keeping user activity private.