Instagram Plans On Allowing Users To Return To Its Old Chronologically Sorted News Feed

Instagram is finally decided to allow its userbase to go back to the chronological interface that much of the community had been missing ever since its replacement back in 2016.

Instagram head Adam Mosseri ended up revealing this new development in a Senate hearing of all places, as he and his team were interrogated over how Instagram as a platform kept its youth safe. Which, while I’m not the best a bureaucratic diplomacy or any of other buzzwords rich white business owners like to employ, is a pretty uphill battle. Just recently, an in-depth exploration of the platform revealed how easy it is for minors to purchase drugs online, with almost no repercussion to either involved party in the process. Besides, Frances Haugen’s leaked documents regarding Facebook have already painted a poor picture of parent company Meta and, by association, all of its respective social media platforms. So, yeah. What better place than a Senate hearing about child endangerment is there to announce that you’ve got an exciting new interface update rolling out? Perfectly handled.

To be fair, the statement was made in relation to discussing how Instagram’s algorithm doles out content to users, in the interest of examining whether or not it can prove harmful to minors. While harmful is a much lengthier discussion to have, most users would agree upon it being annoying or confusing. When Instagram started out, it used to have a linear timeline based on chronological order. This way, users could see the most currently relevant stuff first, and then move onwards. However, this was a system that Instagram actively rejected in favor of an algorithmically designed timeline, that brought content users (purportedly) wanted to see more.

A blog post from Adam Mosseri in 2020 explained this choice, stating that the Instagram community was missing out on 70% of all posts, and many of those posts would end up being from close friends and associates. His defense of the algorithm feed, ranking posts according to user interest, was actively denied by Frances Haugen. In her statements to Congress, the ex-Facebook employee actively vouched for a system where AI, ever so fallible to numbers and easily manipulated, was not the deciding factor behind content that users encountered. As it is, the community itself was also displeased with the new ranking based News Feed, and has since been requesting the ability to go back to simpler times.

Adam Mosseri’s Senate revelation, which was later accompanied by a Twitter post from Instagram on the matter, is a big change to Instagram, and for the better too. The newest change won’t be incorporated for all users across the board. Instead, community members will be able to choose which News Feed option they want to opt for, and can change accordingly.

It's about introducing choice back into the equation. And avoiding a lot of community and Senate flack in the process, which is probably why this took so long.

Read next: New features for the protection of teens on Instagram has been announced
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