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Is that follow mutual? Instagram makes followers easier to spot

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Panithan Fakseemuang / 123RF
Stop scrolling through that followers list — Instagram will soon show you if a follow is mutual by highlighting the information at the top of their profile. The quiet Instagram followers update was first released to Android and hasn’t yet made its way over to iOS.

With the change, at the top of the user’s profile, a new “Follows you” will appear underneath the username and bio, if that user is among your followers. The new feature appears above where Instagram shows your mutual followers and displays which of your followers also follow that user.

Instagram wasn’t necessarily secretive about which users are following who, but determining if another Instagrammer follows your profile previously required scrolling through the list of all your followers to find their name, or for the newest followers, scrolling through the notifications. The change, while a minor difference, makes it easy to see if another Instagrammer already follows you or not.

The feature hasn’t yet migrated over to iOS, despite a September 18 update for bug fixes and performance improvements. The September 19 release of iOS 11 could means another Instagram update is coming soon to add features that match up with the new options in the updated operating system.

The easy-to-find follower update comes after several users watched their profiles move from a three-column grid to a four-column one. The feature isn’t universal and Instagram hasn’t made an official statement, which suggests it’s only being beta tested for the time being. While the wider grid might make more sense as smartphone screens continue to grow in size, Instagrammers who intentionally post in threes to create a pattern on their profile grid are worried about how the change will skew the carefully crafted look on their profile.

The latest update — and suggestions of a possible grid change update — come after Instagram updated to autoplay sound on videos. To avoid the awkwardness of accidentally playing video in an otherwise quiet environment, Instagram only turns the feature on when users click on the speaker icon to view it with sound. Once the app is closed, Instagram once again defaults to keeping videos quiet until another video is tapped. Paired with the new threaded replies and new landscape and portrait orientations for galleries, Instagram appears to be on a streak of making small changes all in the name of user experience.

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