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Instagram taps Facebook data to sort its new ‘Stories’ feature

Months back, Instagram switched its reverse-chronological timeline to an algorithm that sorted posts it thought you wanted to see, much like Facebook’s. Now, it’s taking the Facebook comparison a step further by actually including actual Facebook data in its algorithm in an effort to measure engagement, and thus algorithmic placement on your timeline.

Instagram, a 2012 Facebook acquisition, is using Facebook’s data in order to give its new ‘Stories’ feature a fighting chance, even though Snapchat uses a simple reverse-chronological order timeline, much like Instagram used to. Of course, Snapchat users might soon have their own algorithm to worry about, so it may be a moot point.

Now, ‘Stories’ will appear on the timeline by referencing whose content others engaged on within the platform, as well as Facebook and a handful of other signals that weren’t disclosed.

If you haven’t used the feature yet, Instagram only shows five stories initially.

The reverse-chronological approach, Instagram feels, could be keeping you from seeing really engaging stories in favor of those that were published more recently. The inclusion of Facebook data to the algorithm will now prioritize the stories it thinks you’re most interested in seeing.