Instagram to resurrect previously abandoned feature — Analysis

An algorithmic feed that has been annoying millions of Instagram users might soon be replaced with content offered up in the traditional chronological order, the platform’s CEO has announced.

One of the world’s most popular photo and video sharing apps is actively working “on a version of a chronological feed,” Instagram’s top executive Adam Mosseri testified before a US Senate panel on Wednesday. 

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Mosseri didn’t give any specific dates, but he said his company was “targeting the first quarter of next year” for the launch of the basic feed, which has been sought after by many users for years. The hearing before the Senate’s Consumer Protection Subcommittee was initiated to examine Instagram’s safety, particularly for teenagers and children. 

Instagram switched its chronological feed in 2016 for a ranking algorithm that it claimed offered content tailored to users’ preferences and activity. Despite uproar from some users, Instagram defended the move at the time, saying it would help ensure people didn’t miss important things amidst an avalanche of posts – but complaints persisted that the platform was forcing people to see what its AI prioritized.

Mosseri was asked if he believed that the app should not be restricted to users. “being manipulated by algorithms.” He then promised the chronological feed option was in the works, saying the company believes users should have “more control. 

Instagram (previously known as Facebook) and Meta, its parent company have been long accused of being dangerous to young users. This includes their addiction, bullying, and harassment online. 

READ MORE: TikTok, YouTube & Snapchat ‘drive kids down algorithmic rabbit holes’ – US senator after hearing on social media policies 

An ex-Facebook data scientist and whistleblower claimed earlier this year that the company put its profits before user safety. Frances Haugen leaked documents that suggested, among other things, that the company knew about the negative effects it had on young users’ mental health.



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