Amid all the action on the show floor at CES 2022, Instagram is quietly announcing the return of the much-missed chronologically-ordered feed.
The Head of Instagram (at Meta, obviously) Adam Mosseri said the company is testing three new feed options, with a view to rolling them out later this year. Mosseri said the changes will help ensure “people feel good about the time they spend in the app.”
First of the three options is Home, which will feature the algorimically collated content based on what Instagram thinks you’ll like. This is the current option and will remain ordered in order of perceived importance, rather than time posted.
However, there’s a big caveat to that. Mosseri said more and more Home content will be “recommended” in the future, rather than from accounts you follow. You’ve probably noticed this is happening already because it’s getting chronic as it is.
The next feed will be called Favourites, which will enable users to specify a list of accounts that they actually want to see every post from. This content will be arranged in chronological order. That’ll be a relief to many users who just prefer to see the new posts first.
The final one is Following, which is a chronological feed from accounts you follow. No recommended content here, aside from the ads the company is sure to flood it with.
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Instagram says some users are already seeing the test content and Mosseri is planning on rolling out the full experience this year.
I hate to be a cynic, but this all sounds like the company is looking to overwhelm the traditional Home screen with content you don’t actively follow, so wants to ensure you stay engaged with the stuff you do. All the while it can tick the “we’re Meta and we care about your mental health:” box.