Instagram has made a name for itself for being one of two social media apps that users have been deliberately calling for a return to the classic chronological timeline on. Twitter’s the other one, and the company eventually caved and gave users that option. Now Instagram has confirmed that it’ll do the same, but it seems that the app might be taking a different approach to what it means to be “chronological” yet relevant for the specific user.
Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, took to the platform to confirm once more that they’re indeed bringing a chronological format back to the app’s feed, after he initially confirmed it during a Senate hearing this week. He then detailed two different ways the company is exploring at the moment to implement the feature, and there’s no word on whether one or the other will eventually ship to customers.
According to Mosseri, there’s one feed that will be presented in chronological format and allow you to pick your favorite accounts to see first. That way, the most relevant content to your specific interests will be presented at the top. The second is a strictly chronological format with posts being presented to you according to the time they’re published on Instagram.
We want to be clear that we’re creating new options — providing people with more choices so they can decide what works best for them — not switching everyone back to a chronological feed. You can expect more on this early next year!
At least for now, it doesn’t seem like Instagram will follow Twitter’s implementation and let you switch between a chronological and algorithmic feed. Mosseri said the new feed will ship in 2022, although a firm release date wasn’t offered.
I won’t lie, I like the idea of picking my favorite accounts on Instagram to show up first in my feed. That’s how Facebook works, and it would allow me to turn off post notifications so I don’t have to resort to constant buzzes and bings to say up-to-date on my favorite accounts. I’m probably in a minority with that opinion, but it seems pretty appealing nonetheless.
Regardless of whether Instagram ships Favorites or not, this change will be welcome to a large number of users. People have been complaining about the format switch for the feed since the algorithmic approach was introduced in 2016. Since then, people have noticed that posts tend to resurface from the past far too often, with what Instagram would consider as “relevant” content for your feed originally being published multiple days prior to you actually seeing it.
Posts also often go missing for no apparent reason other than the app deeming it not worth showing in your feed. It’s been an incredibly mixed bag, to say the least, and for Instagram to be finally retiring it is a big deal.
What’s your take? Were you ever a fan of the algorithmic feed or are you dying to get a chronological experience in Instagram? Share your thoughts in the comments below, I’d love to hear them.