Instagram is killing its awesome Photo Map, sigh

We can't have nice things.

Instagram is removing the Photo Map feature because everything is terrible and nothing matters. As you can see, I’m having a somewhat emotional reaction to this news.

Instagram has been tinkering with its app a lot this year, from a new icon to support for multiple accounts to a Snapchat-like feature called Instagram Stories. But the app isn’t just adding, now it’s taking away.

instagram tamra cropped

When you’re looking at other people’s profiles (hi, Tamra!), you’ll no longer see the Photo Map icon, which used to be third in that little toolbar.

People started noticing that the icon for the photo map is missing when they look at other people’s profiles. Instagram confirmed in a statement to Mashable that the feature would eventually disappear from your own profile, too: “Photo Map was not widely used, so we’ve decided to remove the feature and focus on other priorities.”

And I guess that makes sense. The Photo Map is the sole Instagram feature that isn’t monetized or really of much use to brands or business accounts. And I do buy that many users don’t use it, or even know that it’s there. (If you’re among them, tap your profile on Instagram, and then look for the icon that looks like a point of interest marker on a map. Pinch to zoom in and out on the map, scroll around, and tap any stack of images to look at them, or tap the grid button to see a grid of every photo on that screen of the map.)

instagram me cropped

The Photo Map feature is still active on your own profile, but not for long.

But I did know it was there, and it was one of my favorite things in Instagram.

Looking at my photos on the map is a calming, soothing pastime, and I’ve definitely made a point to geotag Instagram posts on vacation so they would show up on the map later. I’m not much of a world traveler, so the fact that I had photos from two trips to England and one trip to Spain was a point of pride, even just in my own mind.

instagram maps

Look! I’ve been places!

Maybe that’s the thing: In a social app all about sharing a curated, polished, design-magazine-worthy view of your own life, the Photo Map feature feels personal and private. The only way to share your map would be to screenshot it, and as you can see here, the experience doesn’t translate so well to a screenshot anyway. If you’re looking at the map view, you see the location but not the photos. If you tap a stack of photos to look at them, they obscure the map. But sharing isn’t the point at all when it’s just so pleasing to scroll around the map, zooming in and out to recall where all your Instagram moments took place.

instagram england

I still remember the walk I took around Bath (one of the loveliest cities my eyes have ever seen!) and how much trouble I had finding that Apple Store, ha.

So I’ll miss the Photo Map. Sure, I’ll probably screenshot my maps before the feature disappears, even though they’ll never be as satisfying as the interactive experience. And truthfully, I’ll probably stop tagging the locations of my Instagrams. Since my account is private, my photos won’t show up in the roll of images taken at that location, and without the Photo Map feature just for me, there’s no point. Maybe Instagram could build Photo Map into the web view for the die-hards who use it, while still removing the feature from the app.

Did you use the Photo Map in Instagram? Are you sad it’s going away? Join my pity party in the comments.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Instagram

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Susie Ochs

Macworld.com
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Crucial Ballistix Elite 32GB Kit (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 UDIMM

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Plox Star Wars Death Star Levitating Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?