Oct 16th, 2019, 11:30 AM

No More Stalking?!

By Samira Safarzadeh
Instagram/ Image Credit: Luke Van Zyl on Unsplash
Instagram Removed Their Activity Tab

As many of you have noticed Instagram got rid of its long-time "following activity" tab. Here you could see what your friends were liking, commenting on and others they follow. The feature was used to spot a friend liking controversial stuff, a significant other who is liking naked pictures of another woman/man, or an ex that you just can't get over. It was basically an easy stalking tool, which also caused a lot of celebrities and politicians to get in trouble for the things they would like. 

Instagram removed the activity tab / Image Credit: Samira Safarzadeh 

Instagram first launched its "following activity" tab back in 2011, long before the Explore tab was added. It was the best way for users to discover new accounts and content to follow. But with the explore tab there is no longer a need for the "following activity" tab. This is both a good and a bad thing. On one hand, people who would be actively stalking would no longer be able to, and people would freely like whatever they wanted without the fear of someone judging them. But on the other hand, we can no longer catch people liking problematic posts. People are now basically free to like whatever they want. 

In an Interview for Buzzfeed News, Instagram's head of product Vishal Shah noted that not many were aware of the tabs' existence, and even fewer frequently used it. “Simplicity was the driving factor,” Shah revealed. Instagram was aiming for a simple easily accessible design. 

American University of Paris (AUP) student Melissa Gomez said that she would frequently use the tab to keep up with her friend,  "We have the same humor," she said, "I would check it to see if she liked a meme that I would find funny. But then I realized it was gone. It is good because now I can like whatever I want but also a little sad." Meanwhile, Sofia Smeigh realized it was gone only when it was brought up, "It's is cool because people are not stalking you anymore, you know when you have that one family member who publicly likes weird stuff that you don't want to see. In a way it is not cool to not have it anymore because you don't know what are people thinking and liking." 

Instagram Feed /Image Credit: Kate Torline on Unsplash

While many people did not even notice that the tab was gone, there were quite a lot of people who went on twitter to complain about it and ask for the tab to be added back on. 

Instagram removed “following activity” tab and I ain’t even notice bc I really don’t be checking for what people be doing lol

— Lisa Turtle🇭🇹 (@tinaqueen_15) October 8, 2019


Wtf #Instagram removed following activity tab. Cant stalk my crush anymore 😭 pic.twitter.com/UVv1n6YUOR

— Atheist Rajat (@messigod5) October 8, 2019


@instagram BRING BACK THE FOLLOWING TAB ARE👏🏻 YOU👏🏻 CRAZY👏🏻 Or at least give us the option if we want our activity shown on the page or not. Don’t just take it away🤦🏻‍♀️ #instagram pic.twitter.com/QliyaJbb1y

— trey💋💨 (@allthingstrey) October 8, 2019

Instagram has also been trying to get rid of the likes, it has already been tested in some regions. The feedback varied; some were happy that the like obsession will be gone, there will be no need to compete over it. Others were upset that their form of validation was taken away. Influencers complained the most, arguing that companies and sponsors will no longer be able to tell if they have a solid following or not. It seems as if Instagram is trying to get rid of this generation's unhealthy obsessions, turning Instagram into more of a blog-style app. While nothing has been decided on removing the like feature, it does not seem that Instagram is planning on bringing the activity tab back any time soon.

Sorry everyone you will have to find another way to check up on your friends and crushes.