instagram is about to make it harder to stalk people

Sorry lurkers.

by Douglas Greenwood
08 October 2019, 10:51am

This article originally appeared on i-D UK.

Sometimes we reckon the death of Instagram would make our lives so, so much simpler. Besides the fact it acts as the perfect place to post all of your fire pics, the app also throws up a thousand questions that hang over us: Why is no one liking my stuff? Why did that person I met six months ago for an hour in a nightclub unfollow me? Am I hot enough? Do I post too much? Does my constant search for validation make me… needy?

Behind the scenes, we get the impression Mark Zuckerberg is, like, super happy that we’re all high-key obsessed with an app that makes us ultimately miserable. Maybe that’s why the announcement that they’ll be killing off one of its most aggy features comes as a surprise. Perhaps we've got old Mark all wrong.

Yep, today we announce the sad passing of the ‘Following’ tab: the place you go to see whose photos your ex is liking, who’s active but ignoring your DMs, and discover that your best friend has just commented love heart eyes below a photo of a person you dislike for a reason you can’t quite remember. It should be called the ‘receipts’ feed: a place where relationships get ugly; that catalyses our anxiety.

The fact that some people didn’t even know it existed is wild: imagine going on a wild like spree of all the people you find fit only to be confronted with the evidence at a later date? Horrifying, but a real thing: the whole reason IG are retiring it is because so few people used it in the first place. In a comment to BuzzFeed News, Instagram’s Head of Product Vishal Shah said that “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."

Instagram first rolled out the feature as a test at the start of the month, much to the bemusement and annoyance of people online.

It’s safe to say that those who used it as a tool for finding cool new IG accounts will suffer, but for those who were hellbent on being horny on the main: go forth. Your secrets are safer now.

This article originally appeared on i-D UK.

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Mark Zuckerberg