Instagram is making it tougher for your friends — or a suspicious significant other — to track your activity.
The popular Facebook-owned app will soon be purging its “Following” tab, which tracks the likes and comments of your friends, an Instagram rep confirmed to TheWrap on Monday morning. The story was first reported by BuzzFeed News.
The Following tab has long been an easy way to see what your friends are up to on Instagram. The update, expected to roll out this week, will have the heart icon at the bottom right of Instagram now only include the user’s activity, rather than let them snoop on others.
First introduced in 2011 as a way for Instagram users to engage with new posts, the tab has become less useful as time went on, according to an Instagram spokesperson. The “Explore” tab, which debuted in 2014, effectively negated the Following tab as a way to discover new accounts — leaving it as a tool to stalk whether your boyfriend liked a picture of his ex.
“People didn’t always know that their activity is surfacing,” Vishal Shah, Instagram’s head of product, told BuzzFeed. “So you have a case where it’s not serving the use case you built if for, but it’s also causing people to be surprised when their activity is showing up.”
The change comes as Instagram continues to tinker with its best-known features. Earlier this year, Instagram expanded a test hiding “likes,” where users would still see who likes their pictures, but when someone goes to their post, the total number of likes would be hidden. Instagram head Adam Mosseri said in April he wants to create “a less pressurized environment where people feel comfortable expressing themselves.” Making it easier for users to like pictures, without fear they’ll be covertly judged by their friends, could be one way to make users more comfortable “expressing themselves” — and get them to spend more time on the app.
Read original story Instagram Just Made It Harder to Stalk Your Friends At TheWrap