I am developing an activity feed for a basic social app: you can follow people and people can follow you back. When you follow someone, content from that person will appear on the activity feed. I am debating wether the feed should show content posted by that person before I followed her, or if it should show content made only after I started following her.

I see that Twitter implements the first option, and Instagram the latter.

I can’t really understand the pros and cons of each. What are some good practices about this?

  • Please, could you give a lot more context? Commented Jan 6, 2016 at 17:17
  • @SteveDL I don't know what more context I can give without revealing what the app actually does, and i'm not allowed to do that until it's released.
    – Hugo Alves
    Commented Jan 6, 2016 at 17:49

1 Answer 1


It depends. If the app is about people that know each other (FB kind), then its a good idea to just limit the feed from the 'day they started following'. If its mostly strangers (Twitter kind), then you can have full feed visibility. Reason I say is, Person A could have said or written something about person B in the past and A might not like the idea of B knowing about A's past comments. It could be an idea or a controversial topic , not just what A said about B.. things like that. Like I said it depends what the relationship model is between users and what the 'following' model is - do users have control on who can follow them ?


I think sharing ALL feed sounds right. You need to have a very strong reason to shut down past feed .. Just my two cents.

  • At the momento the user has no control over who can follow them.
    – Hugo Alves
    Commented Jan 6, 2016 at 16:33
  • How about privacy concerns ? what type of feed are we talking about here ? I edited my answer.
    – PK2016
    Commented Jan 6, 2016 at 16:37
  • the content shared by users is not actually sensitive, for example (not this case) cooking recipes. In the long run it's planned to allow a user to set his profile as private preventing other from following
    – Hugo Alves
    Commented Jan 6, 2016 at 16:55
  • 1
    Your contract can be terminated because of a tweet that you had two years ago. Barcelona B ex-player had this pain recently...
    – Abektes
    Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 9:34
  • 1
    @Abektes true but i don't see that happening with the type of content users can share. But i'll give it some more thought. Tks for the warning.
    – Hugo Alves
    Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 9:40

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