Instagram starts testing chronological feed is now experimenting amid worries that the platform’s algorithm-driven strategy may expose teens to information that is detrimental to their mental health.
Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, gave a glimpse of the imminent update in a video posted on his account on Wednesday. The present Home-based algorithm-driven Instagram experience will coexist with the chronological feed. This is how it will go:
Instagram will keep displaying stuff in the Home feed that it believes you’ll enjoy.
You can view a chronological list of posts from the accounts you follow in a separate feed called Following.
Favorites, a third feed, only displays posts from accounts you’ve favorited.
These tests have either already been released or will be in the next weeks, according to Mosseri. After that, the platform intends to formally introduce the new feeds somewhere in the first half of 2022.
In response to questions from lawmakers about whether Instagram’s algorithms “manipulate” user behaviour, Mosseri said during a December testimony before Congress that the platform was developing a chronological feed.
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That happened after The Wall Street Journal revealed that Instagram was well aware that its algorithm-driven strategy has proven detrimental to the mental health of adolescent girls(Opens in a new window). This is because, according to Instagram’s own internal study, the same algorithms might favour posts about flawless bodies, which can trigger stress, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts in vulnerable teenagers.
Since then, Frances Haugen, the anonymous source who provided information for the Journal’s article, has urged Facebook and Instagram to switch to chronological feeds, alleging that the platforms’ algorithms frequently promote extreme, divisive content to keep people interested.
Meta, the parent Instagram starts testing chronological feed, has refuted the charges. The new chronological feeds, however, according to Mosseri on Wednesday, promise to give users greater control over what content shows on their accounts.
“It’s crucial to me that users enjoy their experience using the app. And one of the greatest ways to do that, in my opinion, is to provide users tools to customise Instagram to suit their needs,” he said.
The Home feed will still be a big part of the platform, so the platform isn’t completely giving up on algorithms. On Facebook, you may view the posts in your News Feed in chronological order by selecting Most Recent from the See More menu on the left side of the page. It isn’t a long-term shift, though.