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Instagram’s Coming Chronological Feed May Not Work How You Expect

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The big Instagram news stemming from today’s Senate appearance by platform chief Adam Mosseri, which was primarily focused on how the company’s looking to improve safety and wellness for young users, is that Instagram is looking to add a chronological feed option early next year, one of the most requested features in the app.

As Mosseri explained:

We’re currently working on a version of a chronological feed that we hope to launch next year.”

Note the term ‘version’ here.

Mosseri added that the company has been working on the option for months, with progress well advanced on the prototype.

Which has plenty of users excited, and plenty of analysts assessing what that might mean.

But here’s the thing – Instagram’s coming chronological feed option is very likely going to operate the exact same way that Facebook’s feed sorting option does right now, in that you can choose to view the posts from Pages and people that you follow in time order, but you can’t set it as a default, and have the app open to that reverse chrono feed every time you come back.

The coming option will likely look like this toggle, spotted in testing by app researcher Alessando Paluzzi:

Instagram feed display toggle

As you can see here, this new toggle would enable you to sort your main feed by ‘Favorites’, which are profiles you add to your top list, and ‘Following’, in addition to the traditional, algorithm-defined ‘Home’ feed. Paluzzi’s prediction is that the ‘Following’ feed will be displayed in reverse chronological order, which Instagram seems to allude to in its confirmation of Mosseri’s statement.

That would mean that you will indeed be able to view your feed in time order, but it’s unlikely to be a set option – which, as noted, is exactly what you can do on Facebook right now in choosing display options for your News Feed.

The benefit of this for Instagram is that it puts the onus back on users. If people want to complain about potential algorithmic bias and ‘shadow bans’ and the like, then they have the capacity to re-sort their feed as they see fit, without algorithm intervention. While at the same time, Instagram knows that many people simply won’t bother to do this every time they open the app, enabling it to largely maintain the engagement benefits of the algorithmic feed approach (Instagram has repeatedly noted that both engagement and user experience measures have significantly improved since implementing its feed algorithm in 2016), while also blunting some of the criticism about removing the chronological feed.

So it’s a win-win in many respects – but it is worth noting that it seems unlikely that Instagram will bring back a way for your to set a reverse chronological feed display as your default, meaning it’s not really taking things back to the way that they once were.

But maybe it will. I mean, again, Mosseri was very careful with his wording, as is Instagram in its confirmation. If it was really bringing the option back, it would likely be more open – but maybe this is just interpretation, combined with skepticism imbued by similar announcements in the past.

We’ll find out soon, with Instagram set to launch the option early in the new year.

Socialmediatoday.com

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17 Content Options for Each Stage of the Sales Journey [Infographic]

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17 Content Options for Each Stage of the Sales Journey [Infographic]

Looking to formulate a better content strategy for 2023?

This will help – the team from Orbit Media has put together a listing of 17 content formats, and where they fit within the sales funnel which could provide some inspiration for your planning.

There are some good pointers here, with specific approaches that you can take at each stage of the journey.

Check out the full listing below – while you can read more on the Orbit Media website.

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Meta Soars by Most in Decade, Adding $100 Billion in Value

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Meta Soars by Most in Decade, Adding $100 Billion in Value

Correction: February 2, 2023 This article has been revised to reflect the following correction: An earlier version of this article misstated how much Meta expected to spend on its deal with the virtual reality start-up Within. It is $400 million, not $400 billion. Meta’s stock surged on Thursday …

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Twitter’s Cancelling Free Access to its API, Which Will Shut Down Hundreds of Apps

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Twitter’s Cancelling Free Access to its API, Which Will Shut Down Hundreds of Apps

Well, this is certainly problematic.

Twitter has announced that, as of February 9th, it’s cutting off free access to its API, which is the access point that many, many apps, bot accounts, and other tools use to function.

That means that a heap of Twitter analytics apps, management tools, schedulers, automated updates – a range of key info and insight options will soon cease to function. Which seems like the sort of thing that, if you were Twitter, you’d want to keep on your app.

But that’s not really how Twitter 2.0 is looking to operate – in a bid to rake in as much revenue as absolutely possible, in any way that it can, Twitter will now look to charge all of these apps and tools. But most, I’d hazard a guess, will simply cease to function.

The bigger business apps already pay for full API access – your Hootsuite’s and your Sprout Social’s – so they’ll likely be unaffected. But it could stop them from offering free plans, which would have a big impact on their business models.

The announcement follows Twitter’s recent API change which cut off a heap of Twitter posting tools, in order, seemingly, to stop users accessing the platform through a third-party UI. 

Now, even more Twitter tools will go extinct, a broad spread of apps and functions that contribute to the real-time ecosystem that Twitter has become. Their loss, if that’s what happens, will have big impacts on overall Twitter activity.

On the other hand, some will see this as another element in Twitter’s crackdown on bots, which Twitter chief Elon Musk has made a personal mission to eradicate. Musk has taken some drastic measures to kill off bots, some of which are having an impact, but Musk himself has also admitted that such efforts are reducing overall platform engagement

This, too, could be a killer in this respect

It’ll also open the door to Twitter competitors, as many automated update apps will switch to other platforms. This relates to things like updates on downtime from video games, weather apps, and more. There are also tools like GIF generators and auto responders – there’s a range of tools that could now look for a new home on Mastodon, or some other Twitter replicant. 

In this respect, it seems like a flawed move, which is also largely ignorant of how the developer community has facilitated Twitter’s growth. 

But Elon and Co. are going to do things their own way, whether outside commentators agree or not – and maybe this is actually a path to gaining new Twitter data customers, and boosting the company’s income. 

But I doubt it.

If there are any third-party Twitter apps that you use, it’ll be worth checking in to see if they’re impacted before next week.



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