Instagram, one of the world's most popular social media platforms, is expanding its array of features to show users who among the people they are following are following them back. The feature is still in its testing phase so don't feel cheated if you open up the application and you don't see the information.
The information came out when Engagement Editor Anthony Quintano posted a photo on his Twitter account showing a screenshot of a few of his Instagram contacts with an indication of whether they mutually follow each other's accounts or it's just a one way thing. You can check out his tweet below.
You can now see who follows you back on Instagram!! pic.twitter.com/ElpWkJ5Avj
— Anthony Quintano (@AnthonyQuintano) January 14, 2016
To see if you have access to the new feature, go to the "People" search tab of your mobile device's Instagram app. You should be able to find out who follows you even if you don't follow them back, who you follow, who follows you back and who else among your contacts follow someone you follow.
This is definitely a big improvement since Instagram said in its blog that it is improving the app search function in 2015.
"As part of our search improvements, Instagram now takes into account who you follow and who they follow in order to provide a more personalized set of results. This means that it is easier for you to find someone based on the people you follow," Maxime Boucher and Thomas Dimson wrote on the Instagram blog in the third quarter of 2015.
The feature is not really something new in social media platforms since both Twitter and Instagram's owner, Facebook, already has similar features but it does open up opportunities for other things. Let's not even consider fights over the discovery that a friend is not following or has unfollowed you at some point. Rather, let's focus on Instagram's goal to streamline its search function to be able to give its users the most appropriate results during searches.
"Our team built a model to rank the accounts followed by each user. This allows us to prioritize showing people followed by people that are more important to the searcher," Instagram explained its search architecture.
As to when the feature will roll out publicly, Instagram has not made any announcements since its focus right now is to test the feature on several subsets of users.