Home Feature news Instagram's chronological feed is back, but you have to work for it

Instagram’s chronological feed is back, but you have to work for it

Instagram just threw you a bone.

Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, announced Tuesday that, after almost six disjointed years, Instagram users can once again view their feeds in chronological order. The company unveiled two new feed options, Favorites and Following, tacitly acknowledging that its algorithm-fueled home timeline isn’t cutting it for some users.

“Favorites shows you the latest posts from a list of specific accounts that you choose, and Following shows you posts from people you follow,” explained the press release. This stands in contrast to the home feed, which is littered with “suggested posts and ads from businesses[.]”

There are, however, several rather notable catches to this otherwise welcomed news.

For starters, regardless of what an Instagram user prefers or selects, it appears based on limited testing that the Instagram app always defaults to the algorithmic Home feed. As Twitter users recently made clear, not being able to set defaults is a sticking point for many on social media. When reached for comment, a Meta spokesperson confirmed that “at the moment there is no way for people to customize the default setting.”

Secondly, and this part is sure to turn heads, Meta hints at why its making this change now — and the suggestion isn’t a pretty one.

Free yourself from the algo prison.
Credit: Instagram

“Your Instagram feed is a mix of photos and videos from people you follow, suggested posts and more,” noted Tuesday’s press release. “Over time, we’re going to add more recommendations to your feed based on your interests — Favorites and Following are new ways to catch up on recent posts from the accounts you follow.”

In other words, Meta’s warning users that it’s about to crowd their home feeds with even more junk than it already does. But hey, here’s a little feed treat for its users in the meantime.

UPDATE: Mar. 23, 2022, 12:00 p.m. PDT This story was updated to include comment from a Meta spokesperson.

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