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Is Instagram Really Reinstating the Chronological News Feed?



Is Instagram Really Reinstating the Chronological News Feed?


Two viewing modes

These are two features that are made official, after being briefly presented in January. The first is Following, translated into French by Abonnements. It allows you to display the publications of the people you follow in order. The second, Favorites, shows the latest content from a selection of accounts. This can concern a maximum of 50 sources. They are then distinguished by a star-shaped icon in the Feed.

But Subscriptions and Favorites are not settings that can be activated by default, so that you can follow your news feed according to these criteria when you open the application.

These are just two additional viewing modes accessed through a drop-down menu via the Instagram logo in the top left corner (see screenshot above).

An insufficient alternative to algorithms

Auditioned by Congress in December 2021, Adam Mosseri had to react after the embarrassing revelations of whistleblower Frances Haugen. The harmful effects of Instagram on the mental health of adolescent girls had been pointed out in particular.

The operational opacity of the algorithms that prioritize content in the Feed was in question. It was therefore necessary to find alternatives to prove Instagram’s good will to improve things. Subscriptions and Favorites are supposed to solve this problem. But that may well not be enough.

Instagram: the thread in chronological order is back

On the social network, users will have two additional options for scrolling through photos and videos, in addition to the usual feed. At the top left of the home page, the “subscriptions” tab will allow you to find posts from followed accounts, classified by date and time of publication. Regarding the “favorites” tab, it will be the most recent posts of the accounts designated as favorites. Up to 50 users can be added to this list without knowing if they are added or not.

Since 2016, and the end of the chronological flow, the ranking algorithms take into account different data to offer users a “personalized” offer. Recently, this system has been criticized by associations and researchers. Whistleblower Frances Haugen, a former Facebook employee, had released documents that showed that celebrity posts were much more prominent than other posts and could have harmful consequences on well-being and self-esteem. Web users.

Instagram relaunches a chronological and ad-free feed

By default, the Instagram feed mocks the timeline and showcases posts “from accounts you follow, suggested posts, and ads from businesses that may be interesting and relevant to you,” as it sees fit. (Facebook).

“Instagram’s technology uses various signals to determine the order of posts in your feed,” adds the platform. In short, this algorithm pollutes the feed with pubs and suggested “posts”, zaps publications from your favorite accounts without your consent.

Instagram once again offers a timeline view to its users

The social network has deployed new content display options. It nevertheless continues to impose an algorithmic news feed.

Announced last December by Adam Mosseri, the CEO of Instagram, the chronological feed has just returned to the social network. It is available through two new display options: “Subscriptions” and “Favorites”, which have been tested since January. The first – showing the posts of people followed by a user – corresponds to the display in chronological order that existed before. The second allows you to see the most recent publications of accounts added to a list of favorites. This one can count up to fifty and it is possible to modify it. Instagram further clarifies that people are not notified when they are added to or removed from this list.

The social network introduced these display options in order to allow its users to choose what they see in their feed and may offer other similar functions later. “We will continue to build features like Favorites and Subscriptions to give you more choice and control over what you see,” Adam Mosseri said in a statement.

Content recommendation still important for Instagram

Despite this return to the chronological display, Instagram still imposes its algorithmic flow. The “Subscriptions” and “Favorites” options cannot be chosen by default. In other words, each time the application is reopened, the user sees an algorithmic news feed and he must again select one of the two options to display the publications in chronological order. This is a way for Instagram to ensure that algorithmic content recommendation is still used by most people on its platform. However, the return of the chronological feed had been announced during a hearing in the United States Senate in relation to accusations that Instagram is harming the mental health of adolescents with its algorithms.

It is also not the only social network of Meta to offer a chronological display option, while favoring an algorithmic news feed. Such functionality is also available on Facebook, but only temporarily, with the feed reverting to its default setting each time you log in. In addition, Instagram plans to continue to suggest content to its users: “Over time, we will add more recommendations to your feed based on your interests,” said Adam Mosseri.

Go activate the chronological feed on Instagram

Finally, it’s back: Instagram’s news feed can once again be organized chronologically. It was a request made by users for years, which the social network was slow to accept. Instagram had already teased the return of chronological order in January 2022, and it has now been done since March 23: you can now restore order in your feed. Here’s how.

How to put chronological order in your Instagram feed?

The manipulation isn’t as obvious as it could be — Instagram doesn’t really seem to want you to make the switch and ditch the algorithmic feed for good.

First, update your app if you haven’t done so for a long time. Then, go to your feed (represented by a “home” tab in the bottom menu), and click on the Instagram logo. Two options will then appear: subscriptions and favorites.

The “subscriptions” option simply corresponds to the accounts to which you are subscribed: it is therefore the display in chronological order as it existed before.

The “Favorites” option is new. If you choose this option, you will be able to see posts from accounts that you have added to your favorites list first. “You can add up to 50 accounts to your list,” Instagram explains, “and make changes at any time. People aren’t notified when you add or remove them from your favorites list. By clicking on this option, you will be taken to a page offering you to choose your favorite accounts.

Instagram’s timeline feed is back!

After six years, after much insistence from users, the Instagram feed is now organized chronologically. In addition to the novelty, there are two new ways to define the layout of the homepage.

Users will be able to create a stream with only their preferred accounts.

Since the beginning of Instagram, the feed was presented in chronological order. However, six years ago, the current Meta decided to change this model to another, which prioritized the profiles with which users interacted the most. As we saw here, late last year Adam Mosseri revealed, via twitter, that the Instagram team was “working on a timeline version,” which they hoped to release in 2022.

As promised, Meta has announced that Instagram users can now see their feed organized chronologically. Additionally, there are two new ways to organize the feed in an even more personalized way: Following and Favorites. The latter will allow the user to select specific accounts from which they do not wish to lose messages.