Instagram killing its 'stalking' feature, the Following tab

Instagram is killing its 'stalking' feature, the Following tab.
Say goodbye to creeping through your ex's late-night likes. Photo credit: Getty

Instagram is getting rid of its Following tab, which has become widely known as a creepy stalking tool.

The feature had been intended to help users find cool new accounts to follow, but has raised privacy concerns over the sinister ways some people use it.

The Following tab allows you to browse what posts have been liked or accounts have been followed by other users - including the late-night Instagram activities of your thirstiest friends and colleagues.

Jealous partners and ex-partners can monitor what accounts you've started following and whose photos you've liked, among other problematic uses of the feature.

But starting this week, the heart tab will display only a user's own Instagram activity, while the Search & Explore will introduce potential new accounts to follow as the Following tab had been intended.

Instagram says the feature they're killing isn't very popular and many users didn't even know it existed.

"People didn't always know that their activity is surfacing," Vishal Shah, Instagram's head of product, told BuzzFeed News.

"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 initially tested removing the Following tab for some users in August, which triggered a Reddit thread complaining about a perceived bug.

The move follows the social media platform's July action of stopping displaying how many likes posts have

Instagram says the Following tab is being removed starting Tuesday (NZDT), but it will take the rest of the week for the rollout to complete.