If you were expecting Instagram chief Adam Mosseri’s US congressional grilling this week to be the usual, largely useless, performative Q&A session, you’d have been mostly right.
At least the hearing prompted Instagram to unveil a bunch of new safety tools aimed at teenagers. As NPR reported:
They include tools to help users manage how much time they spend on the app, place limits on both unwanted interactions with adults and exposure to sensitive content, and offer optional parental oversight of children’s accounts.
Years overdue perhaps, but steps in the right direction. Of more interest to many users will have been Mosseri’s disclosure that the company plans to bring the chronological feed back.
But algorithm haters shouldn’t celebrate too much. As Social Media Today pointed out, there’s no reason to think the good old days of old-school, time-sorted Instagram are coming back:
Instagram’s coming chronological feed option is very likely going to operate the exact same way that Facebook’s feed sorting option does right now
, in that you can choose to view the posts from Pages and people that you follow in time order, but you can’t set it as a default, and have the app open to that reverse chrono feed every time you come back.
As I noted in this newsletter last week, Alessandro Paluzzi has spotted
a toggle buried in app code that will likely let you switch to a chronological feed. But the chances of it being the default are almost zero. The algorithm is just too valuable for pushing monetisable content and the most engaging posts to users to give it up. Sorry!