Instagram Brings Back the Chronological Feed (Why It Matters in 2022)

If you are someone new to Instagram, and you just recently updated your app, perhaps you wonder…

What is Instagram’s “Chronological Feed”?

When Instagram first debuted in 2010, the home page consisted of a single stream of photos in chronological order.

Essentially, this means that posts appeared in the order in which they were posted on your feed. However, things changed and this feature was no longer available. But why is that?

Adam Mosseri wrote a blog post titled “Shedding More Light on How Instagram Works” in June 2021, explaining that keeping the feed in chronological order “made it impossible for most people to see everything, let alone all the posts they cared about.”

Instagram’s chronological feed update consists of two new sections:

Following – As the name suggests, the Following feed is for when you want to see the most recent posts from the accounts you follow in chronological order, just like the good old days. To access the Following feed, open the Instagram main page (the house icon at the bottom left corner) and look to the top-left side of the screen. Then, tap on the cursive Instagram logo to reveal a drop-down menu that reads “Following” and “Favorites.” Tap on Following, and watch the chronological magic happen.

Favorites -The feed is a pared down version of Following because it only shows you posts from accounts you’ve marked as Favorites. You can see it when you tap on “Favorites” from the dropdown, and it includes people you know IRL like your friends and family, as well as your favorite creators, artists, musicians, and more. To start selecting your faves, select “Add Favorites” in the Favorites feed and tap “Add” or “Remove” next to your most beloved accounts. According to Mosseri, your Favorites will also appear higher up in your main feed.

Note that you can’t set either of these new tabs as the default feed. Instead, you will have to separately go to Instagram Favorites and Following tabs from the feed switcher at the top-left corner of the app.

How to Switch From Default to Chronological Feed

You must manually select the Following or Favorites feeds every time you open the app, because they won’t stay as your default option — that’s still the main page (if you’re still running the test, “Home” may still be an option). Tap the drop down button at the upper right corner that says “Home” and you will be able to choose between Following and Favorites If you don’t see the new Following and Favorites options, update your Instagram app to the most recent version.

The main feed will still be your default, and it will “continue to be ranked,” which means your algorithm will rearrange and suggest personalized content based on what it thinks you’re most interested in. In addition, Instagram announced in a March 23 blog post that more suggested content will be added to your main page over time. You’d better figure out your Favorites as soon as possible.

Is it Marketing-Friendly?

While there is currently no advertising in the chronological feeds, there is no certainty that this will not change in the future. Instagram is a revenue-generating business, so if it isn’t showing ads, it isn’t producing money. The default view still includes sponsored content, and if a sufficient number of users move to a non-advertisement view, I wouldn’t be surprised if Instagram included sponsored posts in chronological feeds.

Unfortunately, as it is now, this feature is hidden deep within the program. People aren’t likely to stumble across it by accident, and while some vocal users have expressed a desire for a chronological feed, perhaps the majority of users will continue to utilize the usual “Home” timeline with sponsored items. Even if you alter your timeline to chronological, Instagram will move it back to “Home” if my initial testing remains true.

This is a subtle improvement for photographers who want to appreciate photography, but it doesn’t change the reality that Instagram is openly shifting to video and retail, and has stated that it is no longer a photo-sharing site. If the Instagram timeline modifications improve your experience, go ahead and embrace them.

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