Instagram is introducing significant changes on how users view their feed on the app, as the company looks to bring back the much-requested chronological feed to its platform.
The Meta-owned video and photo sharing service is introducing two new feed options – Favorites and Following – that will enable users to quickly catch up on the posts from their favorite accounts or accounts they follow, starting with the most recent posts.
This launch comes a few months after Instagram head Adam Mosseri had promised to offer a chronological feed option during his testimony before a US Senate panel in December last year. He fielded questions on the child safety issues on the platform and their impact on young people.
Since late last year, Instagram has been facing scrutiny over leaked internal research that said the app adversely affected some young users.
The company had initially offered a chronological feed to users in its early years. However, it switched to algorithmic-driven feedback in 2016. A chronological feed displays the latest posts to users, sorted by time, from the accounts they follow on the platform.
However, Instagram’s move to an algorithmic feed is widely disliked by users since they complain that they miss many posts from their friends and family or see a lot of old posts at the top of their home feeds.
How will the new feed work?
Following today’s announcement, Instagram will start offering three different feed options to users – Feed, Favorites, and Following. It has been testing these feed changes since January this year.
Feed will be the default home feed that will offer users a mix of photos and videos from people they followed and recommended posts. Instagram said they would provide more recommendations to users to their feed based on their interests over time.
Favorites will show users the latest posts from a list of accounts they manually choose, similar to how it currently works on Instagram Stories. One can add up to 50 accounts to this list and make changes to it at any time. The company said that posts from accounts marked as Favorites would also show up higher in their home feed and a star icon.
Meanwhile, the Following will show users’ posts from the people they follow. One can access these feeds through a drop-down menu on the app’s home feed’s top left.
It doesn’t seem like one can choose these chronological-based feeds as the default feed at present. In comparison, Twitter currently allows users to choose between an algorithmic feed or a chronological feed as the default feed on the platform.
“We’ll continue to build features like Favorites and follow to give you more choice and control over what you see, and help make the time you spend on the app feel more intentional,” the company said in a blogpost.