Instagram made a major change to its app and users don’t seem to care

By Amanda Zacharias
October 14, 2019

Instagram logo. Photo by Pixabay.

Instagram is a photo sharing app that lets users post photos and videos while gathering a following to share their content with. The social media app connects users across the globe with a variety of content and hashtags. Previously on the app, users could see what their followers were up to, now that feature is no more. 

The following tab has been removed from Instagram. 

While this feature was available, users could see what photos their followers were liking or commenting on and who they were following. Some say this was a privacy violation and wanted their account activity to be kept private. Others said they have nothing to hide. Some users didn’t even know the feature was there or used it. 

From a survey of five Cabrini students, all five said they will not miss the feature and rarely, if ever, used the tab to begin with. 

Instagram logos. Photo by Pixabay.

Senior business management major Fabrine De Oliveria knew the feature was going away and was not upset about it. De Oliveria even thinks it will be beneficial. “I think it’s good because it minimizes certain arguments in peoples relationships because you can’t tell who liked what.”

Social media professor Nune Grigoryan mentioned how people can use the following feature very differently.

“Some people will follow different accounts, even politicians, to see what they are doing and liking and it brings this whole issue of transparency,” Grigoryan said. The following tab allowed for a great amount of transparency that would be good in the case of building trust with politicians and their social feeds but like De Oliveria mentioned, it can also lead to relationship troubles. 

There have been many changes to the photo sharing app since its debut in 2010 and most of the time these changes are not well perceived at first. However, this update is seeming to go unnoticed and leave users unbothered.

Depiction of old and new layout after following tab removal. Photo from BuzzFeed News reporter Katie Notopoulos.

Instagram’s reason for removing the following tab was to increase the simplicity of the app and they noticed that the feature was not being used by most users. So to make the app easier to use and navigate, the company decided to remove a feature that was not utilized. 

As the social media world is ever growing and evolving, all platforms are faced with the challenge of remaining current and engaging to continue to bring in new users as well as keep current users.

“They are trying to find new ways to stay current and to try to clean up to make room for new things,” Grigoryan said.

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Amanda Zacharias

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