Instagram to offer chronological Stories and Reels in Europe

European users also have the option to view their content in chronological order.
Sejal Sharma
Representational image of Instagram feed
Representational image of Instagram feed

Wachiwit/iStock 

Meta announced today that they will give an option to European users of Facebook and Instagram to view Stories and Reels only from the people they follow, ranked in chronological order, and from newest to oldest.

This basically means that users have the option of not seeing algorithm-based content on their timeline, which let’s face it can be a bit repetitive.

Users can switch off algorithm-based sorting

Meta ranks content on Instagram and Facebook using artificial intelligence (AI) systems. The content that a user sees on their timeline is based on the 22 system cards. These cards collect data and show you the most relevant content based on your previous activity. You can see the cards here.

“We’re now giving our European community the option to view and discover content on Reels, Stories, Search, and other parts of Facebook and Instagram that is not ranked by Meta using these systems,” said the company in a statement.

But Meta didn’t just wake up one day and decide to make their internal system more transparent. The big tech company’s latest announcement is in compliance with the European Union’s Digital Service Act. The DSA will be applicable across countries falling under the EU to regulate tech companies such as Meta, Google, X (formerly Twitter) and how they moderate content on their respective platforms.

1,000 Meta employees working on implementing DSA

Meta said that it has assembled a cross-functional team comprising over 1,000 people working to ready their social media platforms and technology when DSA is implemented in the EU nations on August 25.

In a step towards more transparency of how advertisements run across Meta technologies, the company also announced that it is expanding its Ad Library which will display and archive all ads that target people in the EU. The Ad Library will enumerate the dates the ad ran on, parameters like age, gender, location that was used for targeting, who was served the ad, etc. The information will be stored in the public Ad Library for a year.

Meta said that it has “long advocated for a harmonized regulatory regime that effectively protects people’s rights online while continuing to enable innovation. 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.“

Meta is among the 19 platforms identified by the DSA which have become relevant and responsible to make the Internet safer. Other platforms include Alphabet's Google Maps, Google Play, Google Search, Google Shopping and YouTube, Meta's Facebook and Instagram, Amazon's Marketplace, and Apple's App Store, reported Reuters.

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