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Despite rumours, Instagram says it isn’t restoring chronological feed

A Facebook employee has shot-down all hope for a chronological Instagram feed after a reliable tipster revealed that the company is working on a “Latest Post” feature.

Twitter user Jane Manchun Wong – who likes to reverse engineer apps to reveal secret features – discovered the “Latest Posts” option while snooping around the back-end of the app.

From the screenshot, it looks like this is an alternative feed for scrollers, which would allow them to peruse by date rather than by Instagram’s whacky algorithm. A return to the good old days, basically, when pics and videos were ordered by time and date and not the maniacal decisions of social media giants.

Related: Instagram now invites you to unfollow people you don’t care about

But Facebook employee Alexandru Voica responded to the Tweet by saying that “Latest Posts” was an early prototype, birthed at a Facebook hackathon and not a genuine new tool. Crucially, he also said that the company doesn’t have any plans to test, launch or update the feature.

This is very sad news for the numerous users who are ticked off by Instagram’s current algorithm, which pushes images and videos it thinks you will like onto your feed.

Related: How to stop Facebook tracking you when you’re on other sites

When it first launched, Instagram claimed the new algorithm would prioritise posts based on the “likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting, and the timeliness of the post.” But after a backlash, the company eventually dialled it down a notch and reverted to a lite version, that ensured newer posts are seen first.

There may be a glimmer of hope for chronological enthusiasts – despite Facebook’s claim that it’s not working on or updating the feature, Wong noticed that the feature’s name has now changed from “Latest Posts” to “Here’s What You Missed.”

This suggests that, curiously, tweaks are still being made to this unofficial prototype – we asked Instagram to clarify the name change, but the company would only confirm that this feature is a prototype that isn’t available publicly. And, again, that it’s not something they plan to introduce or test out in the future.

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