There was once a time when what we’d see on Instagram was not based on what the algorithm gods deemed fit for us. The time of posting was the golden goose of the platform, until 2016 when the social media giant shifted away from the constraints of chronological order.
However, recent reports claim that the company is planning on going back to its roots – or at least, will present the option for users to live like its’ the pre-2020s again with the comeback of the chronological feed order option.
How does Instagram currently work?
Your feed on Instagram is the reflection of accounts you follow – and some options for accounts you might like. These little squares of other’s worlds that pop up in your own are currently presented by Instagram’s algorithm that uses technology in different ways to give you what they think you’d be most likely to engage with.
Some things that impact what appears on your feed are The likelihood of your interest (based on the content type), the date of sharing, as well as how much you usually interact with the account that posted it.
This ‘relevance’ set-up came after people complained about the chronological feed, where it was revealed that people were missing out on 70% of the content they followed.
So why is Instagram bringing back chronological ordering?
The proposal came from Instagram wanting to have ‘meaningful control’ over their experience, as Hypebae reports. In short, it’s really just a way to accommodate different people. Additionally, it’s a version of the old option, and so won’t likely be exactly the same.
Adam Mosseri the captain of Instagram’s ship communicated that Instagram is “currently working on a version of a chronological feed that [they] hope to launch next year”, indicating that 2022’s first quarter is likely to see the option implemented. The emphasis lies on the word ‘option.’
Instagram further clarified that it won’t be the only way to enjoy the app.
“We want to be clear that we’re creating new options — providing people with more choices so they can decide what works best for them — not switching everyone back to a chronological feed.”
Other new waters Instagram is testing includes the ‘Take a Break’ feature for users, which prompts users to pause the app’s usage after a certain time period.
They’re also looking at ways toward parental control over teenagers’ use of the app which will be implemented next year. This came after concerns surrounding child safety issues on the app, where were prompted in part by Frances Haugen’s revelations as The Verge recalls. For context, Haugen provided internal documents to The Wall Street Journal that suggested the company was aware its app may be “toxic” for teenagers.
Instagram is also currently working on something called “Favorites,” which is a way for you to decide whose posts you want to see higher up on your feed.
Picture: Karsten Winegeart