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Instagram brings back this feature

Instagram has gone back to the place where Tumblr has been the entire time. Yes, it’s gone chronological! But, it's not as simple as you’d think. The switch was announced on Wednesday, with there being two new ways to view the feed. ‘Following' and ‘Favourites’, have been designed in a bid to give users “more choice and control over what [they] see”, aka, the feed minus the suggested content and algorithmic posts. 

The Following tab allows users to see posts in chronological order, that is, the most recent posts from who they're following first. Think of how Instagram used to be long before we knew what the word algorithm was. The Favourites tab is a new concept for the social media platform, with users able to ‘favourite’ up to 50 accounts which will show up higher in the feed. But don’t worry, people aren’t notified when they are added - or removed - from your favourites list. Your Favourites tab will also be in chronological order, so that, as Meta states, “you can quickly catch up on recent posts”.

To switch between the tabs, you simply click on the Instagram text in the top left-hand corner of the Instagram home page and a drop-down menu will appear. 

However, it’s not all plain sailing as when you reopen the app, you’ll automatically be shown the traditional home screen that is full of posts the algorithm thinks you want to see. In addition to this, you won’t be able to see Stories on the Following or Favourites tab, as they are only available on the standard home page. 

Meta also says that the Following/Favourites features have been created in a bid to “help make the time you spend on the app feel more intentional” and is a good way to help users have more control over the time they spend on apps like Instagram, as they won’t be sucked in by the algorithms. But, as the app defaults to the usual algorithm-led home page, is Instagram really doing enough in protecting the mental health of its users, particularly those who are younger and perhaps more impressionable?

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