Back in 2011, a year after Instagram was released, the new “following tab” was added. This feature was on the left side of the activity tab, allowing people to discover what their followers were liking and commenting on.
The “following tab” was intended to give users new content and interesting accounts to follow by providing the activity of those who the user followed ranging from seconds to weeks ago. But, INSTAGRAM stated that the feature made social media behavior more toxic by exposing the following accounts’ liked photos and comments into somewhat of a public record. Relationships have been broken after a user discovered that their significant other thirst-liked someone else’s bikini photos at 3 a.m., and embarrassment has peaked as users saw their family members’ personal content.
A survey conducted by BAZAAR found that 84% of users abused the following tab while 16% had no idea that the feature even existed.
Lucas Oh (12) said, “I’ve honestly never checked the Instagram followers tab so I really don’t care.”
And for those cursed with knowing what it is, the function perhaps proved to be more toxic than enlightening.
Milo Jhun (11) agreed, saying, “why would someone want to know? It’s their own private stuff.”
Colin Kim (10) thinks, “It’s pretty cool because now I can be private.”
Furthermore, Instagram said the “explore” page already fulfilled that function for most users. With the following feature removed, Instagram predicts that its “explore page” will be more useful than ever and the app will continue to function without the following tab.
Information comes from BUZZFEED, INSTAGRAM, and BAZAAR