Yesterday, Instagram released its long awaited “major” update since Facebook became associated with the photo sharing platform — but not everyone is pleased. The latest update features a new mapping system that takes all those geo-tags you have used in the past and spreads them out by location so you can see yours (and other people’s) photos from destinations they frequent.
“We don’t want Instagram only to be about ‘now,’” Instagram founder Kevin Systrom told Wired via email. “Instead we want Instagram to be a visual collection of your memories — something beautiful and nostalgic.”
Thoughtful… but unfortunately, kind of creepy. Seeing exactly on a map the places you frequent with photos of yourself, friends, and what have you, gives someone who may be looking to stalk you a plethora of information.
Some are questioning whether this is Facebook’s doing, after all the site is known for it’s ubiquitous privacy policies (or lack there of).
But Systrom clarified that Facebook is not behind the change, saying that no new data or information is being used, and that the news maps feature “has nothing to do with the pending Facebook acquisition…. Until the FTC decides to clear the deal there is no collaboration or integration between the companies.”
On the plus side, it’s fairly simple to opt out of the geolocations. If you don’t want your photos mapped out for the world to see, you can simply deselect them by doing the following:
- One way of avoiding any photos being shared is by hitting “deselect all.” To do this, go into your profile, hit “Photo Map,” then “edit.” Click the little grid-looking button in the bottom center of the screen and simply tap on the “Deselect All” button.
- If you want only a few of your photos off the map, do the same as above, but instead of hitting “Deselect All,” simply uncheck the photos you don’t want used. Then hit “Done.” It will ask you to confirm that you want to remove their location data permanently, just to double check.
- Or if you only want one entire location to be removed (say, your ex-boyfriend’s house), you can deselect entire sections by tapping the check mark in the upper-right portion of the specific section.
Furthermore, you should understand once you remove a photo’s geolocation, it cannot be undone.
Other small changes to the app include a better and bigger grid-like viewing system. Also, the Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and other sharing options have been redesigned, making it slightly easier to chose which ones you share.