Instagram’s Chronological Feed Is Back, Baby

Instagram’s Chronological Feed Is Back, Baby
Photo: AFP, Getty Images

You can now once again browse through vacation pics, food porn, and thirst traps in reverse chronological order. Instagram announced the roll out of two new ways to control your feed Wednesday.

They’re categorised as “Favourites” and “Following,” meaning you can opt to see posts from specific accounts you mark as a favourite (up to 50) or you can choose to show posts from all of the accounts you follow. Either way you go about it, both will appear in the order by when they were shared, with the most recent being first.

This is especially great news if you’re tired of seeing posts by a person you gave a pity-like to or that time you were trying to be the ‘bigger person’ by liking an ex’s selfie. Instagram won’t guess at which content you’d like to see based on your activity when you’re browsing the Favourites and Following tabs.

Instagram made the switch from a reverse chronological to a ranked one in 2016. The company said in statement, “We know from research that people have a better experience on Instagram with a ranked feed, so we won’t be defaulting people into a chronological feed.”

Your activity will still play into some of what you see on the app. (algorithms gonna allegorize, ya know.) Algorithmic ranking of posts will remain the default for the feed you see when you open the app. In Wednesday’s announcement of the changes, Instagram’s head Adam Mosseri also wrote, “Over time, we’re going to add more recommendations to your feed based on your interests.” Which kinda sounds like old habits die hard…or not at all. Adding an account to your Favourites will cause it to appear higher in your main feed, according to Instagram. An account won’t be notified when you add it to your Favourites list. Mosseri hinted at the changes in a Senate hearing last year on Instagram’s effects on the mental health of users under 13.

At the end of the day, Instagram says they want to make the time you spend on their app, “feel more intentional.” Which sounds great, until we’ve found ourselves (again) in a late night spiral looking through Britney Spears’ account and wondering why we woke up tired.