It's fair to say that this year has been a pretty big year for Instagram. The app has gone through a number of changes, both big and small. Firstly, the app received a complete redesign which saw the company remove all colors from its UI and replace them with a black and white palette, along with a brand new colorful logo. As well as this, the company also changed the way a users' feed was organized and only recently introduced a new zoom feature. As part of keeping Instagram popular and relevant, it's important to keep adding features and improving the app as whole, but it's also important to remove redundant features that are not used anymore. This is why Instagram has decided to remove its not-so-popular Photo Maps feature from the app.
Photo Maps essentially did what it said on the box - it allowed users to see the location of all the photos taken by other people when clicking on their profiles scattered over a map of the World. You could zoom into a certain country to see a more precise location or zoom out to see the countries the users had visited and taken photos in. Instagram started removing the feature last week, with users no longer able to see other people’s Photo Map, though their own one is still accessible for now. Importantly, the company isn't removing the ability to add a location to photos. The location tag will still be clickable and bring up other posts from that particular location. As well as this, a spokesperson has confirmed that the change does not affect the apps API which allows companies or developers to pull tagged location information from public posts, even if the post doesn't have a location tag.
As of latel Instagram has faced tough competition from the likes of Snapchat and the app has even forced the company to produce a Snapchat lookalike called Instagram Stories, but it seems the company doesn't want its app to be too complicated, hence the removal of redundant features such as Photo Maps. It remains to be seen if Instagram will be introducing any new Snapchat-like features in the future, though it's safe to say that face and location filters, similar to the ones provided by Snapchat, would surely be a popular option.