Facebook is really going through it lately: on Sunday, it was revealed that research firm Cambridge Analytica, hired by the Trump campaign, mined Facebook data from 50 million users without permission and used it to influence the 2016 election and put Trump in office. Mark Zuckerberg only spoke out about the scandal yesterday, and he could only fake being a live human being for so long before making the argument that we all delete Facebook by admitting that “if we [can’t protect your data], then we don't deserve to serve you.”
With all that said, though, the (admittedly Facebook-owned) Instagram has seen a chance to swoop right in and win the popularity contest between social media platforms once and for all by granting what is probably the average Instagram’s users biggest wish: chronological order. Well, sort of.
Mark Zuckerberg should've walked into that interview and said "Instagram will be in chronological order again" and walked out...— Everette Taylor (@Everette) March 22, 2018
Instagram used to show posts in chronological order before inexplicably changing their algorithm in March 2016 to the current mess that you’ve reluctantly grown accustomed to because you’re addicted to stalking your ex’s sister’s dog’s vacation pics. However, today, Instagram revealed in a press release that the company is making two potentially exciting changes to its algorithm: a “new posts” option as well as something that sounds a lot like a concession to chronological feed.
“We’ve heard it can feel unexpected when your feed refreshes and automatically bumps you to the top,” Instagram wrote. “So today we’re testing a “New Posts” button that lets you choose when you want to refresh, rather than it happening automatically.”
In addition, Instagram noted our incessant whining, called it “feedback” and revealed changes are being made "to ensure that newer posts are more likely to appear first in feed.” The Instagram feed should begin feeling “more fresh.”
“So if your best friend shares a selfie from her vacation in Australia, it will be waiting for you when you wake up,” the release read.
Instagram’s Vice President of product Kevin Weil shared the press release on Twitter, which is interesting mostly because it’s evidence that important Instagram execs really are listening to what we want. And all that we want is a chronological feed. That’s literally it.
We're working every day to improve your Instagram feed—with your feedback top of mind! We want to start talking more about what we're changing and why. Today is our first step, focused on making the feed fresher, with newer posts closer to the top. https://t.co/EqoBiszIde— Kevin Weil (@kevinweil) March 22, 2018
This press release didn't outright say: "we've gone and done the one thing you've wanted for so long," and instead tiptoed around it. As Facebook has shown us, we shouldn't trust these social media executives all that much. Here's to hoping one day we get a more straightforward chronological order announcement.