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Instagram is killing its awesome Photo Map

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Written by Mia Miller

Instagram is taking away your photo maps.

The photo-sharing app has begun to kill its photo map feature, with some users already seeing the option removed when visiting other profiles.

Instagram confirmed the changes to Mashable on Tuesday. The company started removing the features for some users last week.

For now, you can still see your own photo map, but expect that to change in the near future, too.

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Photo maps like these are disappearing from Instagram.

Photo maps like these are disappearing from Instagram.

IMAGE: SCREENSHOT/INSTAGRAM

Focus on other priorities

“Photo Map was not widely used, so we’ve decided to remove the feature and focus on other priorities,” the company said in a statement.

It’s a big change for the app that started as a location-based check-in app, like Foursquare.

These days, the company is more focused on competitors like Snapchat. One of the company’s “other priorities” is likely Instagram Stories, the Snapchat clonethat rolled out last month.

Check-in apps like Foursquare, meanwhile, have faded from popularity.

Geotags for locations aren’t disappearing. You’ll still be able to click on a location tag in an individual post and see other photos from that location as well as a small map.

The location tag button

But when you go to someone else’s profile, there will no longer be a separate tab to view all their geo-tagged photos on a world map.

Here’s what an Instagram account looks like with the photo map activated, through the location tag button second from the right:

 

An Instagram account with the link to the photo map.

An Instagram account with the link to the photo map.

IMAGE: SCREENSHOT/INSTAGRAM

Users with questions about photo maps

And here’s what an Instagram account will look like without photo maps, with no location tag button:

 

An Instagram account without the photo map.

An Instagram account without the photo map.

IMAGE: SCREENSHOT/INSTAGRAM

As of Tuesday morning, Instagram hadn’t updated information about photo maps in its help pages. Users with questions about photo maps will just see instructions about privacy settings and adding photos to their maps.

Screenshot your map while you still can.

UPDATE: Sept. 6, 2016, 3:07 p.m. EDT 

An Instagram spokesman confirmed later Tuesday that the move would not affect Instagram’s API, which allows companies or other developers to pull tagged location information from public posts, even if the post itself wasn’t marked with a location tag.

Some had speculated that the move to get rid of Instagram’s photo map could be a way to crack down on photos revealing the locations of high-profile users.

At least for now, that seems not to be the case.

 

 

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Mia Miller

Digital Media Specialist

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