Snapchat turns back time, returns chronological Stories feed

Sometimes you win some, sometimes you lose some. For Snapchat, however, it has lately been a series of losses instead. Although not in as terrible a spot as rival Facebook, Snapchat has seen its fair share of one user-losing controversy after another, the latest of which is its much-criticized redesign. Now it seems that Snapchat has conceded defeat and is rolling back at least one feature, bringing back reverse chronological order to your Stories feed.

Truth be told, it might not exactly be a win-win situation for anyone except the most hardcore of Snapchat users. Both chronologically sorted and algorithmically determined feeds have their strengths and weaknesses but, unfortunately, Snapchat wants to provide only one or the other.

Reverse chronological lists have the advantage of immediately seeing what's recent and up-to-date. It immediately tells users which of their friends are available to interact with. On the flip side, it shows what's recent without prejudice, whether the most recent 10 stories come from people you actively engage in or just some distant friend you added and forgot.

Social networks these days have been moving to using machine learning and algorithms to try to reduce the noise. They prioritize what they think are people more relevant to you over those who simply post more frequently. This, however, may miss and force users to scroll a lot as well to get to latest posts or sometimes even mistake older but higher priority stories as recent ones.

Snapchat believed the algorithm way would be better, especially for newer users. The backlash it got after the redesign of the app proved otherwise. It's admittedly a tough balancing act and, for now, those who prefer the old system have the numbers to show. Granted, Snapchat has not yet confirmed the return of the chronological feed, though user reports suggest that might indeed be the future.

VIA: TechCrunch