Instagram is kinda, sorta going back to a chronological feed


Instagram seems to have finally gotten the memo that their god-awful algorithmic feed — introduced nearly 2 years ago — wasn’t the biggest hit with its users. Up until now they’ve pretty much been ignoring the haters (like the petition that amassed over 26,000 signatures) probably because the algorithmic feed better served advertisers than its actual user base. That’s fine. It’s a free service and Instagram has to do whatever they can to keep the lights on. We get it.

Throwing users a bone, Instagram announced yesterday that they’ve finally heard your cries and will tweaking their feed to show you posts in a more chronological manner. Now before you get too excited, Instagram says posts made recently are more likely to show up at the top of your feed — there’s still no guarantee. Simply put, this is NOT the return of the chronological feed.

One of the worst parts about the algorithmic feed was the app’s weird habit of auto refreshing the entire feed anytime you left. For instance, you could be scrolling through the feed, jump into a messaging app, and when you return to Instagram, the entire feed automatically refreshes causing you to lose your spot. Because the feed is different based on what you’ve already seen, you may never be able to find whichever post you were looking at ever again. It’s beyond frustrating but apparently it was by design.

To help solve this issue, Instagram will be adding a “refresh” button so you can manually refresh the feed whenever you like and shuffle in new posts to feast on. Why they couldn’t also add a “chronological feed” button as well is beyond me, but again — Instagram is all about throwing its users bones, not really giving them what they want.

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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