It’s not quite the return of the chronological feed, but the Facebook-owned Instagram is internally testing an alternative. Instagram hasn’t been quite the same since it switched from a chronological feed to an algorithm-driven one back in 2016 – but a new feature spotted in the app’s code suggests users might soon get a new way to see the most recent posts first.
Serial tipster Jane Manchun Wong found the option, which doesn’t appear to regular users at the moment. A splash screen appears, offering to help you “get caught up” on new posts from particular people.
The screenshot attached with her tweet shows a notification prompt which calls the user to “get caught up on the posts” from their friends. A “Welcome Back” precursor hints the feature is likely to be visible when someone opens the app after a certain time gap.
Alexandru Voica, a member of Facebook’s communication team in Europe, revealed that the feature was part of an early prototype tried out at the company’s hackathon. He also clarified that the company has no intention of launching the feature anytime sooner. It is not available to anyone publicly, and we have no plans to test or launch it at this time” responded in a tweet.
That said, Instagram has been working to improve its algorithm for the home feed. Some of the recent updates include suggestions for a friend to be unfollowed or muted and removing the IGTV button on the top. Despite the changes and improvements, users have demanded the company to restore the chronological feed.