In case you had no clue, you had the power of seeing people’s Instagram activity.
What do we mean by this? Ever seen the following tab on IG? It provided a listing of friend activity and enabled users to see what content their connections had engaged with. Gone are the days when you could see if your boyfriend liked another woman’s photos or even commented. Instagram is clearly trying to ensure that people feel safe on their apps especially in this day and age when stalking is so easy.
This is what was reported by BuzzFeed News:
“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.
The interesting thing with this tab is that not many people knew about this.
Instagram chief Adam Mosseri says that Instagram was made to be a simple app and to keep the user experience friendly and easy to use.
Today we’re removing the ‘Following’ tab on Instagram, which was created to help people discover new posts and accounts their friends engage with. We’re always trying to stay focused and keep Instagram simple, and so we celebrate launches and ‘unshipping.’
Many people responded to his tweet shared their concerns.
While some people thought that this was a good move others were more concerned that they would not be able to see what their friends liked anymore. For some content creators their concern was they wouldn’t be able to tell what their followers liked since sometimes content doesn’t organically feature on the explore page.
How would this affect the brand and marketing perspective?
Some brand and marketing agencies have argued that this will take away another surface for potential discovery. It just means that it might become a bit harder to understand an audience when you won’t be able to see what people are liking or what kind of content they are consuming.
According to the Instagram head of product Vishal Shah:
“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.”
The good thing is that explore will still be there as a feature.
In case you don’t know explore is the feature where you get to see accounts that are open and what is trending currently based on what people are liking and popular hashtags as well. It is less intrusive than the Instagram following previous feature which would show you exactly what people liked and even their comments. The great thing about explore is that if you don’t have an open account you will not feature anywhere so you can still maintain your privacy.