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Instagram starts testing the return of chronological feeds

Instagram will have three different feeds: home, following and favorites.
In this photo illustration Instagram logo is displayed on a smartphone screen in Athens, Greece on April 13, 2021 (Photo Illustration by Nikolas Kokovlis/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
NurPhoto via Getty Images
Karissa Bell
Karissa Bell|@karissabe|January 5, 2022 1:19 PM

Instagram has started to test the chronological feed it promised last month. The company has started to test the new versions of its feed, which will allow users to switch between chronological and algorithmically-sorted feeds, says Instagram chief Adam Mosseri.

Mosseri first shared plans to bring back a chronological feed in December during a Senate hearing on Instagram’s impact on teens and kids’ mental health. The company later confirmed that it was working on two new versions of its feed, one called “favorites,” and one called “following.”

In his latest comments, Mosseri said that Instagram will soon allow users to toggle between three different feeds: home, favorites and following. Home will be similar to Instagram’s current feed, which ranks posts based on what you're likely to be interested in, while “favorites” will be a dedicated feed for the friends you care most about. “Following” will be a chronological feed just for accounts you follow, much like Instagram’s default feed prior to 2016.

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Instagram plans to roll out anew chronological feed.
Screenshot via Twitter

“We think it's important that you can get to a chronological feed, if you're interested quickly and see the latest that has been posted by the accounts that you follow,” Mosseri said in a video.

Importantly, the “home” feed will also see significant changes. Mosseri said that the main feed would “have more and more recommendations over time.” The company has already been testing adding recommendations from non-followed accounts and Reels into its main feed, so it sounds like Instagram plans to double down on these efforts. Last week, Mosseri said the company was going to “rethink what Instagram is” in 2022, and would focus on Reels and building more tools for creators.

For now, the new feed changes won’t be rolling out widely. Mosseri said the new feed tests “are already out or going out over the next couple of weeks,” with the “full experience” expected to launch for everyone in the “first half of this year.”

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Instagram starts testing the return of chronological feeds