Instagram users in Europe will get chronological feed for Stories and Reels

Instagram and Facebook users in Europe can view content chronologically again, thanks to the European Union’s Digital Services Act (DSA).

In compliance with the DSA, Meta’s new feature will give people “more control over their experiences” on the company’s apps, coming into effect “later this month”, according to a Meta blog post. Users in Europe will have the option to view Stories and Reels from only accounts that they follow, and in chronological order.

Users will also find search results “based only on the words they enter”, as opposed to algorithm-based, targeted results, and recommendations.

The changes to Instagram and Facebook will likely be welcomed by EU Meta users. People who use Instagram have been begging for the return of the chronological feed for years, as the company tries to console users with features like “Favorites” and “Following”.

Meta is complying with the EU’s comprehensive digital policy, which at its core asks for increased transparency, accountability, and user empowerment. The DSA and Digital Markets Act (DMA) will apply across the whole EU, with the goals of creating “a safer digital space” and to foster a level playing field for businesses and consumers that will enable “innovation, growth, and competitiveness.”

This will mean a lot for tech companies operating in Europe, as Nick Clegg, Meta’s president of global affairs, wrote in a blog post today.

“Meta has long advocated for a harmonised regulatory regime that effectively protects people’s rights online, while continuing to enable innovation,” writes Clegg. “For this reason, we welcome the ambition for greater transparency, accountability and user empowerment that sits at the heart of regulations like the DSA, GDPR, and the ePrivacy Directive.

“The DSA in particular provides greater clarity on the roles and responsibilities of online platforms and it is right to seek to hold large platforms like ours to account through things like reporting and auditing, rather than attempting to micromanage individual pieces of content.”

Clegg explained that since the DSA came into effect in Nov. 2022, Meta has been “working hard” to “develop solutions to the DSA’s requirements”, assembling a major cross-functional team of over 1,000 people.

In addition to chronological feeds, Meta says it has a number of policy changes and features coming into play in the EU. This includes increased insight into the use of AI across Meta, recently announced content tools for researchers, and heightened transparency around advertisements.

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