Instagram is internally testing a new feature to fix its messy feed

Instagram Logo
Instagram Logo (Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Instagram has been spotted testing a new feature meant to give you more control of your feed.
  • The experimental capability lets you add accounts to a priority list called Favorites.
  • This list of accounts will be shown higher in your feed.

Instagram has confirmed that it is testing a new feature that could help address a major staple of complaints from users. The new feature, dubbed "Favorites," lets you choose the accounts you want to see in your feed before the rest.

Mobile developer Alessandro Paluzzi, who first spotted the feature, shared screenshots of the new option via Twitter. It allows you to choose from the accounts you already follow and add them to your Favorites list. These accounts will then land higher in your feed.

Android Central could not immediately reach Instagram for comment at the time of this writing, but the company gave a uniform statement to other news outlets including Engadget. Confirming the new test, Instagram said:

This feature is an internal prototype that's still in development, and not testing externally.

The experimental feature marks Instagram's latest step to give users more control over their feed, assuming it eventually goes live for everyone. In July, it introduced a new capability designed to let you filter out sensitive images from Instagram's Explore tab. You can enable that control on mobile devices, including some of the best Android phones.

More importantly, Favorites is viewed as Instagram's response to the users' objections to its algorithmic feed launched in 2016 to replace the chronological order of posts. Since then, many users have complained that they aren't seeing the posts they want to see on their feed as frequently as they should.

Instagram's Adam Mosseri addressed those concerns in a blog post in June. He explained that when ranking posts in your feed, Instagram's algorithm looks at specific signals such as popularity, your interaction with someone on the platform, recent activities, and the likelihood that you will be interested in a specific post.

In terms of privacy, the people you add or remove from your Favorites list will not be notified of your action. It's similar to Facebook's news feed customization option of the same name in that it prioritizes posts from friends and Pages you've added to that list in your feed.

It remains unclear at the moment when the Facebook-owned service plans to release the feature to the public.

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer & Reviewer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.