Instagram testing chronological feed, other features

FILE - The Instagram logo is featured in the photo. (Silas Stein/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Instagram is testing new ways for users to control what they see on their feed and one of the new options allows people to see posts in chronological order once again. 

In a video posted to his account on Jan. 5., Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, announced the company was testing these new features. 

The new feed options feature three categories which include home, favorites and following. 

The home feed will be the Instagram feed users see currently which gives users content to view based on what they’ve previously shown interest in. 

"The first we’ll call home which is the Instagram experience you know today. Where we rank content based on how interested we think you are in each and every post to try to make the most of your time," Mosseri said. 

The second feed will be called favorites which will allow users to prioritize accounts that are most important to them and will show content from just those chosen accounts. 

"It’s a subset, a list of accounts that you want to make sure you don’t miss things from. I use it for siblings, a few of my favorite creators, a few of my best friends," Mosseri continued. 

The third feed is called following and will give a chronological view of content from accounts a user follows. 

"It will be a chronological list of posts just from accounts you follow because home is going to have more and more recommendations over time. We think it’s important that you can get to a chronological feed, if you’re interested, quickly," Mosseri said. 

Testing already launched but Mosseri said the company hopes to launch the "full experience" during the first half of 2022. 

Instagram did away with the chronological feed in 2016 and switched to an engagement-based ranking of content. The change meant that based on what a user showed interest in on the app, the algorithm could resurface content that could be days old which led to frustrated users and creators, according to TechCrunch. 

RELATED: Senators question Instagram CEO about app's potential harm to young users 

Meanwhile, in December 2021, Mosseri testified about the company’s efforts to address user safety during a Senate hearing on concerns that the social media app is having a harmful effect on the mental health of teenagers. 

In prepared opening remarks, Mosseri argued Instagram was working to address the app’s negative effects. The Instagram chief said he was "proud" of the company’s efforts to "help keep young people safe," though he reiterated the company’s call for the introduction of industry-wide regulations to govern how social media platforms operate. 

"I recognize that many in this room have deep reservations about our company," Mosseri said, "but I want to assure you that we do have the same goal. We all want teens to be safe online. The internet isn’t going away, and I believe there’s important work that we can do together – industry and policymakers – to raise the standards across the internet to better serve and protect young people." 

Mosseri agreed to testify at a fifth hearing of the Senate Commerce Committee’s consumer protection panel, which is working to address public concerns about online safety for children. He called for the creation of an independent oversight body that would set standards for the tech industry on key safety policies such as age verification, parental controls, and building what he described as "age-appropriate experiences." 

"This body should receive input from civil society, parents, and regulators. The standards should be high and protections universal," Mosseri said. "And I believe that companies like ours should have to adhere to these standards to earn some of our Section 230 protections." 

On the eve of the hearing, Instagram released a set of tools meant to promote user health. The tools include a "take a break" feature and one that will "nudge" teen users to view a different topic if they have engaged with one for too long. 

Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, has faced unprecedented scrutiny in recent months after whistleblower Frances Haugen, a former employee, leaked thousands of documents detailing internal research into harm caused by the platform. In previous testimony on Capitol Hill, Haugen said company executives were aware of the harmful effects on teen users but prioritized profit over safety. 

FOX Business contributed to this report.