Instagram to remove its hidden stalking feature, the Follow tab

Instagram has announced plans to say goodbye to its ‘follow’ tab, a feature that allows users to see what others are doing.

The ‘follow’ tab which launched back in 2011, allows you to see the likes, comments and follow activity of the people you follow.

Also known by some as an unofficial stalking tool, the tab has been at the centre of conflict for years. From crushes to friendships the tab allows users to monitor the activity in a subtle way.

The tab wasn’t only used for tracking personal movements on the site of people you follow. Many celebrity sites also use the tool to see who’s liked whose content, and the latest celeb hook-up.

For a tab that has revealed a little too much over the years, the decision to remove it is probably for the better.

Once the feature has been removed, the heart icon will only display your own activity.

Instagram confirmed the removal of the tab to Buzzfeed News. In a statement to the site, Instagram’s head of product Vishal Shah, said the tab was removed for simplicity.

“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.

“Replacing the ‘follow’ tab, Instagram wants people to use the ‘explore’ tab when looking for new content. The tool showcases accounts and content it thinks you might be interested in based on current content interaction.”

Instagram’s decision to remove the follow tab comes shortly after the news that the platform is trialling ways to hide the number of likes on a post.

Both are positive moves by Instagram as it looks to protect the privacy of its users, as well their mental health.

In other news, Instagram has announced plans to launch a new messaging app called Threads. You can find out more about the app here.

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