Starting this week, Instagram will sunset one of its more infamous — though lesser-known — features. Moving forward, the app is removing its “Following” tab. If you’re unfamiliar with the feature, it displays new likes and comments from people you follow. It also shows any new accounts they may have added to their feed. It’s accessible through the heart tab, which is the same part of Instagram’s interface where you see likes and new followers for your account.
For better worse, a lot of people found out a bit too much about their friends’ interests through the following tab. On the one hand, you could see all the pages or comments your friends leave. On the other hand, you could see all the Instagram models they like as well. It was not a good scene.
Buzzfeed News reported the company is removing the feature because it wasn’t getting a lot of use. “People didn’t always know that their activity is surfacing,” Shah told the website. “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.” He went on to add, “Simplicity was the driving factor.”
Instagram first added “Following” back in 2011. However, as a way to discover new accounts and photos, the app’s “Discover” tab does a much better job of surfacing interesting content.