Instagram's controversial following feature has been abandoned
Instagram's following tab has been discontinued due to a lack of use and relevancy.
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The "following" feature was launched in 2011 and allowed users to view their friends' likes and comments on others' posts. From this point on, users will only be able to see their own activity. The feature was known to allow some to stalk their friends and significant others activity, at times causing relationship conflicts. It also made some more self-conscious about their activity.
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However, the feature was also rarely utilized by the average Instagram user. Instagram’s head of product Vishal Shah told BuzzFeed News that many users didn't even know the feature existed, "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."
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This update comes as social media applications are testing the discontinuation of features that are known to negatively impact users' mental health. Both Instagram and Facebook have been recently considering the removal of the number of post likes.
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