Despite Halloween being around the corner, Instagram’s latest update is not so festive. Gone are the days where we could stalk users in private. Instagram has removed its Following tab in the activity feed to enhance privacy policies. If you didn’t notice, when you go to your notifications page on Instagram (the heart icon), you can no longer swipe over to Following.
Prior to this change, the page had two labels – Following and You. Now the header just reads Activity. So what does this mean for personal and professional accounts?
We will be the first to admit that many of our team members used this to see what others were up to on social media. There is no shame in confessing you’ve checked out a person or two using this feature that allowed you to see anyone that you followed’s activity. Previously you could see if an account liked a photo, started following another account, or even left a comment on a post.
While some may wonder why you would need to see what others are doing on their accounts in the first place, the rest of us knew exactly what this meant. But we won’t get into that.
Personal accounts aside, some of our editors raised good arguments against the new update as it was also a way to network and keep up on social trends for our clients. For example, you could see brands like other brands that you may not have ever heard of before. This opened up the possibility to follow and engage with those people too. It was a good tool to aid digital marketers in new account discovery, which is originally what Instagram had intended.
Now users will be forced to find new people, places, and hashtags using the Explore page (magnifying glass icon) on their accounts. Here, Instagram curates content based on pages you follow.
If you are anything like our team, you’ve subconsciously tried to swipe over to that page a good thirty times before realizing it’s not coming back. It’s the latest element to pull a disappearing act on the platform, along with the likes and story views.
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