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Influencers – be in the know!


The big Instagram news stemming by platform Instagram’s Chief Adam Mosseri, which was primarily focused on how the company’s looking to improve safety and wellness for young users, is that Instagram is looking to add a chronological feed option early next year, one of the most requested features in the app.

Mosseri took to his Instagram to say,“We (Instagram) are currently working on a version of a chronological feed that we hope to launch next year.”

So, did you hear the word ‘version’?

Mosseri added that the company has been working on the option for months, with progress well advanced on the prototype. This has plenty of users excited, and plenty of analysts, like ourselves thinking about what it can mean.

But what does this mean?

Instagram’s coming chronological feed option is very likely going to operate the exact same way that Facebook’s feed sorting option does right now, in that you can choose to view the posts from Pages and people that you follow in time order, but you can’t set it as a default, and have the app open to that reverse chronological feed every time you come back., according to a speculation made by Social Media Today.

The coming option could potentially look like this toggle, spotted in testing by app researcher Alessando Paluzzi:

Image Credit: @Alex193A

As you can see here, this new toggle would enable you to sort your main feed by ‘Favorites’, which are profiles you add to your top list, and ‘Following’, in addition to the traditional, algorithm-defined ‘Home’ feed. Paluzzi’s prediction is that the ‘Following’ feed will be displayed in reverse chronological order, which Instagram seems to allude to in its confirmation of Mosseri’s statement.

The benefit of this for Instagram is that it puts the onus back on users.

If people want to complain about potential algorithmic bias and ‘shadow bans’ and the like, then they have the capacity to re-sort their feed as they see fit, without algorithm intervention. While at the same time, Instagram knows that many people simply won’t bother to do this every time they open the app, enabling it to largely maintain the engagement benefits of the algorithmic feed approach (Instagram has repeatedly noted that both engagement and user experience measures have significantly improved since implementing its feed algorithm in 2016), while also blunting some of the criticism about removing the chronological feed.
So it’s a win-win in many respects – but it is worth noting that it seems unlikely that Instagram will bring back a way for your to set a reverse chronological feed display as your default, meaning it’s not really taking things back to the way that they once were.

We cannot say this as confirmed news yet, since even the Cheif, Mosseri was very careful with his wording, as is Instagram in its confirmation. If it was really bringing the option back, it would likely be more open – but maybe this is just interpretation, combined with skepticism imbued by similar announcements in the past.

We’ll find out soon, with Instagram set to launch the option early in the New Year.

Keep following to read about the update as soon as the official announcement is out!