• Users have been demanding back the chronological feed for years. So now Instagram boss Adam Mosseri promised exactly that. But not in the way users might imagine.

    While Instagram was initially sorted chronologically, the company quickly devised a system to show users "more relevant" posts to them. Because the content is interesting, users stay longer in the app. However, the algorithm, which has been sorting the user feed since 2016, is also increasingly being criticized. As a result, many users are reclaiming the chronological feed. Now Instagram boss Adam Mosseri has hinted that there could be a time-sorted version of the feed in the future.

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    Before the US Congress, Mosseri had to testify to what extent children and young people are (can be) protected on the platform. The documents released by whistleblower Frances Haugen about internal practices at Facebook and Instagram also questioned whether Instagram is doing enough to protect young users. The algorithm has been repeatedly criticized, which is designed to play out content that keeps users in the app and thus quickly slides them into problem areas such as eating disorders and depression. A new investigation showed that minors on the platform could also quickly come across drug dealers whose accounts are suggested by Instagram as soon as users already follow a similar one.

    With a chronological feed, this scenario would be less likely. Before Congress, Mosseri testified that he would support the idea of ​​giving users a chronological feed. This is to be reintroduced in the app as early as the first quarter of 2022. As the Instagram boss explained:

    We're currently working on a version of a chronological feed that we hope to launch next year.

    More self-determination for users: Is the chronological feed coming soon?

    Sorting was originally abolished for the reason that users only saw a fraction of the content that their friends and acquaintances posted in the app. The algorithm should decide what the relevant fraction is. Mosseri didn't elaborate on what the new feed might look like, but reverse engineer Alessandro Paluzzi spotted clues in the app's code. Accordingly, Instagram could allow switching between the "Home Feed," a "Following Feed," and a "Favorites Feed." The home feed would be sorted by the algorithm as we currently know it. The following feed would be in chronological order, Instagram confirmed to Engadget. Users could select other accounts for the favorites and only see their content in the corresponding feed.

    Do you want the new options to be introduced? And which feed would you choose? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think!

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