Instagram is bringing back a version of its news feed that ranks posts according to the platform’s algorithms rather in reverse chronological order. However, the corporation stated that its algorithm ranking approach will be enabled by default.
The new feature, which will be available to all Instagram users on Wednesday, was first announced by Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri during a Senate hearing last year regarding the platform’s impact on teenagers. At the time, the decision appeared to be in response to worries that algorithms can occasionally lead young users down dangerous rabbit holes, affecting their mental health.
Instagram said on Wednesday that users would be able to choose between two new ways to display posts in reverse chronological order in their feed. The first, and most familiar to those who used social apps before algorithmic feeds, is the Following feature that highlights posts from the people a user follows in the order in which they were shared.
Instagram will also include a Favorites feature, which will display the most recent posts from a list of select accounts, such as close friends and favorite producers. Users can save up to 50 accounts as favorites, and posts from these accounts will appear higher in their home feeds, as denoted by a star icon. When someone is added or deleted from those lists, they are not alerted.
Instagram has since included a number of precautions intended at protecting its young users, including Take a Break, a tool that the company promises would encourage individuals to take a break from the platform after browsing for a specific amount of time. It also stated that it will take a “stricter approach” to the content it offers to teens and that it will actively prod them toward different themes, such as architecture and travel places if they have been focusing on one sort of content for an extended period of time.
Instagram launched a new instructional hub for parents earlier this month, as well as a tool that allows parents to track how much time their children spend on Instagram and set time limits.