Instagram will not bring back chronological feed that showed users the most recent posts first in their feeds. Vishal Shah, VP of Products at Instagram said at the ‘Instagram Experience’ (IGX) event in Mumbai said that users should forget about the chronological feed.
He says that the logic behind the decision stems from the fact that at the time when the chronological feed was unveiled in 2016, about 70 per cent of the content that people could see was not being seen. “So you were only seeing 30 per cent of the things that you could see,” he pointed out.
To give a perspective, chronological feed gives priority to the latest content by creators over content that users might be interested in, which led to a pressure on creators to post as often as possible no matter how good the quality of their older content was.
He insists that the current feed helps keep the platform simple and thus, it is unlikely to change. “So, the incentive for the producer was to post as often as possible no matter how good the quality of the content was so that they could be seen because the more likelihood of them being seen is the more often they post. That’s just a bad incentive. I’d rather have people be incentivised for good content. Feed ranking gives the incentive to build great content and not to create more content,” he said.
Chronological feed was a part of Instagram’s big design change in 2016. But it was rolled back shortly following a backlash from Instagram celebrities. The chronological feed for Instagram made the platform somewhat similar to Facebook’s newsfeed, which prioritises recent content, which was not surprising given the social media company owns Instagram.
(Disclaimer: The author is in Mumbai on the invite of Instagram India)
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