Instagram is removing its Following tab, a feature which became better known as a stalking tool rather than its purpose to aid with new account discovery.
Instagram says that its Explore tab is the go-to place to find new people, places and hashtags to follow. Meanwhile, the Following tab is now only used by a small number of people on a regular basis. Combined, those factors were the key reasons behind its shutdown, we understand.
But the Following tab wasn’t just unhelpful and therefore ignored by Instagram users — a number of people forgot, or never even knew, it existed in the first place. There are numerous stories of people’s illicit or private activities being outed because of what they were liking and following on Instagram.
Though Instagram is only announcing this change today, many users had already lost access to the tab. Back in August, for example, a big thread on Reddit saw users complaining their Following tab had disappeared. They assumed it was a bug, however.
Instagram says the Following tab is being removed starting today, but it will take the rest of the week for the rollout to complete.