Photo Illustration by Chelsea Wood

Instagram Updates Are Wack

With each new update comes new changes that seem to have no input from the user community.

With each new update comes new changes that seem to have no input from the user community

With 1 billion active monthly users you’d expect app developers to listen to users’ comments and concerns about improvements. It doesn’t seem like this is the case for Instagram.

With each new update comes new changes that seem to have no input from the user community. Although Instagram beta tests new features with random selections of users, it’s done to decipher the functionality of new algorithms and not to satisfy user needs.

The billion-dollar corporation makes new features and updates for monetary gain rather than to appease consumers and users who beg for practical updates.

Instagram tests loads of new updates that focus heavily on new features for advertising. Most of the recent and upcoming updates are focused around business profile improvements and shopping accessibility, like augmented reality updates that allow users to try on products before purchasing.

These changes are made primarily to reel in more investors and advertisers. Other changes seem to be made for no apparent reason.

Recently, Instagram removed the “following” tab, which was a feature that showed who and what your followers were liking, commenting on and following.

The purpose of having this moderately unnecessary feature was to further the impact of similar content discovery through the content your followers enjoy. It was a somewhat invasive feature, but it did serve its purpose. Although, some may argue it also caused drama.

Now that this feature is gone there’s plenty of room for continued drama over the fact that users can’t stalk their followers’ digital actions.

As if there weren’t enough moving parts to consider in this social media machine and all its updates, users may now lose one of the main reasons why they became hooked to Instagram in the first place: likes.

With the impending feature removal of like and view counts on posts, users have yet another unnecessary update to deal with.

With the impending feature removal of like and view counts on posts, users have yet another unnecessary update to deal with.

Although having like and view counts is trivial, this basic feature is standard across most social media platforms. Reddit has its upvotes, YouTube has its channel statistics, Twitter has its retweets and Facebook has its shares, but now Instagram doesn’t seem to care about this simple facet of what made the app likable. All these features are helpful for potential viewers to discern the relevance or importance of something.

Last year Instagram released a different unnecessary and invasive feature, which allowed users to delete direct messages they previously sent, but in turn notifying the correspondent that a message was “unsent.”

This component was ridiculous to have initially. When you send move something to junk mail or delete a text, these actions don’t notify the sender. So why does this feature even exist for Instagram, let alone give the ability to delete a direct message in the first place?

A benefit from the plethora of recent Instagram updates is the notification one receives when someone screen captures a photo sent through DM. While this is yet another somewhat gratuitous update, the new features are invasive yet beneficial. While they enable users to be more mindful of their social activities, they also can inhibit basic privacy.

The Instagram user community should have more sway of what features should come and go, not just advertising investors.

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