Instagram Photo Maps Are No More

Did you ever use Instagram's photo mapping feature? Were you aware that it existed? Well, it did. Tapping the location button on your profile or someone else's would bring up an atlas with every single geotagged photo pinned to it. You could see where people were based, where they'd been on trips and even the varies districts of their local areas which they frequented. Creepy? Kind of, but still an interesting feature which no other photo sharing platform really offers.

Now none of them do. As of December 2nd, the service is defunct. It's been steadily vanishing from phones across the world, and the 2nd was given as the final cutoff point. Some people may have the service for a bit longer than that, but probably no more than a day or two.

As you might have guessed already, the feature has been axed because of a lack of widespread use; Instagram don't see the sense in keeping an app which hardly anyone is using, they want to focus their energies elsewhere.

And elsewhere their energies have been focused. New features have been appearing on Instagram by the week, to the point where the platform now only bears the vaguest resemblance to the one we all fell in love with some 6 years ago. Back then, geotagging and location-based services played a huge role in Instagram's ethos, but now it's all about aping Snapchat, and little else.

Judging from the Twitter reaction, photo maps have something of a cult following, as many are lamenting its removal. In particular, people with an interest in travelling seem very unhappy about it, as in the past it's been used as a way to plan and document world trips. It saddens me as well, mainly because it's another step away from a unique Instagram experience and another step towards it becoming the Pepsi to Snapchat's Coke.

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