Instagram is killing off one of its coolest features, as the company confirmed that Photo Map is getting the ax.
Ironically, although Photo Map may arguably be one of the very best features Instagram has to offer, many users may not even be aware that it exists. That's because it was not really promoted and highlighted as it should have been, so it didn't really gain too much traction.
For those unfamiliar with the feature, Photo Map allows users to check out all photos shared by others in various locations worldwide. The photos are displayed as thumbnails on a map, making it easy to view photos from a location you plan to visit, for instance.
Nevertheless, Instagram Photo Map has apparently been mostly ignored by users. Consequently, Instagram decided that it's not worth keeping around. Some users have already started noticing that the Photo Map feature is no longer present, as the company started disabling it last week. It's still possible for users to see their own photo map, but this will soon disappear as well.
Instagram has now confirmed to Mashable that it is killing off Photo Map for all users because the feature was not very popular.
"Photo Map was not widely used, so we've decided to remove the feature and focus on other priorities," Instagram explained to Mashable.
The company did not go into details as to what those "other priorities" are, but its ephemeral Instagram Stories may be among the highlights. Instagram Stories launched recently as a competitor (or a copy) of Snapchat Stories, heating up the competition between the two services.
With a surging user base, it makes sense for Instagram to want to focus on improving the most popular features, coming up with new ones that would further drive growth, and removing the ones that failed to engage users. Instagram power users may find it hard to believe Photo Map is getting the boot, but being among the best features does not necessarily mean being among the most used ones as well.
With or without Photo Map, Instagram is on the rise and just recently it hit another impressive milestone, racking up 1 billion downloads on the Google Play store alone.
It will be interesting to see what Instagram comes up with next, but for now one thing's for sure: the Instagram Photo Map reached its end of life and will soon be removed altogether.