Instagram may soon begin rolling out a hidden feature called Latest Posts, which will allow users to opt to see all the newest posts from the pages/people they follow. We say hidden because this feature was not announced by the company itself, but instead was found by Jane Manchun Wong, a tech genius who has reverse engineered her way into lots of other features that the company has tried to keep under wraps.
Using the code of the Instagram app on Google Play, she found a pop up that read, “Welcome Back! Get caught up on the posts from [names of people you follow] and 9 more”. Then, the pop up had two options for her to choose from, ‘See Posts’ and ‘Not Now’. When the ‘See Posts’ button was tapped, she found that a new window opened up inside the app, showing her posts from all the pages she follows in a reverse chronological order.
Instagram, after abandoning the reverse chronological feed in 2016, went to a more algorithm based approach. In the original feed, the content was aligned in such a way that the most recent posts took the top spot. In the newer version, feed was aligned based on an algorithm, and in a way that the posts the app thinks would interest you the most were scheduled first.
This ‘Latest Posts’ seems like a cross breeding between the two, as it still keeps the algorithm based approach, but appends the added reverse chronological feed(window) to it.
Users had been asking for this for a long time, especially since something similar made its way to Instagram’s parent company’s main app, Facebook, in the form of ‘Most Recent’.
While Instagram did not comment on the existence of the feature, or any plans for a future rollout at first, the company later accepted to TechCrunch, the authenticity of the ‘leak’ and remarked that it was a prototype feature from a recent hackathon.
In a statement sent to The Tech Portal, an Instagram spokesperson acknowledged the feature and mentioned that it was developed in a hackathon. The statement reads, “This early prototype is from a recent hackathon – it is not available to anyone publicly, and we have no plans to test or launch it at this time.”
This wouldn’t be the first attempt from the company to help people suffering from major fomo, as features like ‘You’re all caught up” have been a part of the app from a long time now, indicating users that they have viewed all the posts in a 48 hour time frame.
Updated with official statement received from Instagram.