When you logged into instagram on Saturday, you made have found yourself asking the question: “What is this photo map thing?”
Don’t worry — you weren’t alone. It’s safe to say many users were asking themselves the same things as they kept receiving notifications that their followers were adding pictures to a new feature called “photo map.”
The third and newest version of Instagram is all about better browsing according to founder Kevin Systrom.
“If the last version was all about production and taking the perfect picture, then this version is really about new ways of browsing,” said Systrom in an article for The New York Times.
The update includes infinite scroll in addition to a “sleek and stylish” new layout with larger images in your photo grid.
But the new photo map feature is what is drawing all the attention.
The feature plots geo-tagged photos on a world map that details the exact location of where the photo was taken.
Initially, many were creeped out, taking to Twitter to voice their discomfort and concern.
“It’s stupid,” tweeted Naomi Lofton, a freshman at Ohio State University at Newark. Lofton says she doesn’t geotag her photos so the photo map feature isn’t very useful to her. She’s indifferent about the complaints of the upgraded version being “stalker-friendly.”
“I’ve never paid that much attention to the geo-tagging to begin with” she said. “But I do think it’s interesting to see where some of the famous people I follow are.”
Although she did upgrade, she prefers the old Instagram layout. “I don’t like how boxy the new layout is. It’s not cute. I hate that they change the layout and stuff all the time.”
The CEO at Instagram has a bigger vision for this feature that goes beyond enabling you to better track your instacrush. According to Forbes, Instagram could go one step farther than Google’s Streetview by allowing users to see what’s going on inside homes, stadiums and clubs in real time.
“If people produce more geo-data and understand how it is being used, we can do more with it,” said Systrom to the New York Times. “Wouldn’t you want to look at the London Olympics as it happens on Instagram?”
Joyce Berthelson, a senior Communications major at University of California, Davis, was not shocked by the new photo map feature.
“I don’t mind Instagram with or without it,” she said in a comment online. “It’s basically Facebook’s photo map feature, so it’s really no surprise since Instagram is now [a property of] Facebook’s.”
Instagram’s new features are indeed very Facebook-eque and will continue to be as the deal that signed Instagram over to Facebook for nearly $1 billion dollars is completed.
Initially, changes in layout and new features throw customers off, but eventually everyone accepts the changes.
“The whining will die down eventually like it always does,” said Berthelson.
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