Instagram aims to launch next year a version of the app with chronological feed, rather than one ranked algorithmically. Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram announced the news on Wednesday following his first appearance before Congress where he was grilled concerning children’s safety online.
Mosseri is the latest in the tech executive list who have been pressed by lawmakers regarding online safety of users on their platform. He was asked to provide more transparency regarding Instagram’s algorithms and the impact of content that has been produced massively daily.
Instagram chronological feed option
“We want people to have meaningful control over their experience. We’ve been experimenting with Favorites, a way for you to decide whose posts you want to see higher up, and we’re working on another option to see posts from people you follow in chronological order,” tweeted Instagram’s PR Instagram Comms.
“New options will be created that will provide users with more choices for them to decide what works best for them,” the tweet further read. Meta-owned Instagram has come under tight scrutiny over and over again over the potential threat its services could bring to user’s mental health, body image and safety of young users. Whistleblower Frances Haugen leaked internal documents about the company’s approach towards younger users.
We want people to have meaningful control over their experience. We’ve been experimenting with Favorites, a way for you to decide whose posts you want to see higher up, and we’re working on another option to see posts from people you follow in chronological order.
— Instagram Comms (@InstagramComms) December 8, 2021
Instagram’s head confirmed that the photo-sharing app had been working “for months” on the soon-to-be launched option of a feed ordered chronologically. The option is planned to be launched early in 2022. This would be a significant change that uses algorithmic ranking to personalise a feed based on user choices and preferences, Mosseri added.
Mosseri was asked several questions on what legislative reforms he is planning on bringing in order to support kids’ online safety, including targeted advertising. Senator Richard Blumenthal said in this opening remark that the time for self-regulation was over.
Mosseri, in this testimony, called for creation of an industry body that will help determine the best practices to help keep young people safe online. He also added that the body should receive input from civil society, parents and regulators to create standards on how to verify age, design age-appropriate experiences and build parental controls, reported Reuters.
No Instagram version for kids
Instagram has just recently suspended its plans to launch a version of the app for kids. The halt came following a Wall Street Journal report that said the internal documents leaked by former Facebook employee Haugen showed that the company knew the app could have harmful mental health effects on children.