Horny people, you’re free: Instagram’s following tab is gone
A Catholic priest notices a fellow priest liking gay porn star pics on Instagram. A man receives a DM from his ex wondering why he's liking photos of someone who gave her gonorrhea. A mother notices the husband of a fellow mom liking bikini model photos. A daughter catches her own father liking cheesecake pinup photos.
These true tales of Instagram horror (names omitted to protect the horny) were all born out of the photo-sharing platform's “Following” tab — a feed that shows the likes, comments, follows of your friends. Thankfully for the irrepressibly lascivious, Instagram is scrapping that feature entirely. Beginning this week, the heart tab will display only your own activity.
Instagram launched its “Following” tab as an early feature back in 2011, long before its Explore tab debuted. At the time, Following was the best way to discover new content, since it would show you things your friends were liking. But that’s no longer true now that Explore has established itself as the primary means of discovering new stuff on Instagram.
Now that Following has disappeared, it’s likely few people will notice it’s gone. Vishal Shah, Instagram’s head of product, told BuzzFeed News it wasn't a feature that 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. “People didn’t always know that their activity is surfacing,” Shah said. “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."