Earlier this year, Instagram announced it would test ditching chronological order for its feeds. Instead, it will be more like a Facebook News Feed, guesstimating which photos you’d be most interested in seeing, and putting those at the top. People were pissed off.
Now Instagram says it’s making the change permanent and has started rolling it out to all of its users. Undoubtedly, more people will be irked. I’m here to tell you everything will be okay.
The change makes sense – Instagram is huge and continuing to grow. More people have more followers, making for a busier feed with more images to skim through before they actually get to something interesting.
In fact, Instagram says on average, people miss 70 percent of their feeds. All this change is doing is trying to make sure the 30 percent of your feed you do see comes from the people your care about.
I don’t generally pay attention to the times of posts on my Facebook feed, and much less on Instagram. The bulk of posts will likely still be roughly in order, and the algorithm will just give your Feed a bit more breathing room for prioritizing posts from your friends instead of being forced into a chronological sequence.
Besides, it’s not like most people will notice. Ever since Instagram got its minimalistic redesign, the timestamp has been relegated to a tiny space at bottom of the comments anyway – perhaps in anticipation of the change.
Meanwhile, Instagram says its trials have been successful. Since testing the change on a small subset of users in March, “people are liking photos more, commenting more and generally engaging with the community in a more active way.”
Of course, the simple solution is to just let people choose the way their feed is sorted, like you can on Facebook. And I’m sure that will happen if enough people complain. But until then, the net effect is that Instagram is trying to stop wasting your time with things you don’t care about. That’s just better for everyone.