In 2016, Instagram did away with the chronological feed, similar to its buddy Facebook. Many users miss seeing photos in chronological order. They have grown frustrated with the random order that has taken its place – the interest-based feed.
If you’d like to change things back, read on for a way to get back to that chronological order as best you can.
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Why Did Instagram Change Their Feed Order from Chronological to Interest-Based?
Instagram changed its feed order from the date-based Instagram feed to the interest-based feed. In theory, this would make the user experience on Instagram better because it would put the best, most relevant content at the top of the feed.
You can still find what you’ve liked if you check the Activity Log on Facebook, but finding a post again on Instagram isn’t so easy.
For many, unless you follow the creator, finding a liked post again on Instagram means scrolling through your likes until you spot it or trying to search through the hashtag if you forgot to click that heart.
How Does The Interest-Based Feed Order Work on Instagram?
Several factors influence the order of the interest-based feed. According to Instagram representatives, “The order of photos and videos in your feed will be based on the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting, and the timeliness of the post.”
Essentially, Instagram’s algorithm looks at your past activity, such as likes and comments, and puts posts related to your highest engagement at the top. However, Instagram has said that posts with less attention overall can still show up in your feed if they are particularly relevant to you. It also takes timeliness into account and will post the most recent posts that it thinks you’ll like up higher.
The tricky thing about the interest-based feed is that everything will change based on your recent activity when you go back to the app again. The newest posts that Instagram thinks you’ll like based on your most recent activity will be at the top of your feed.
Why Do People Prefer the Chronological Order of Their Instagram Feed?
While the algorithm wanted to provide relevant posts first, people think more chronologically, so we want our feed to be in chronological order. However, the marketers at Instagram gain more insights and learn about your interests when the order can adjust based on your engagement.
The idea is to keep you on the site longer because they show you posts you typically like and interact with first. They even push in “Suggested Posts” to get you to start liking and commenting on more posts with varied interests.
In fact, those suggestions might appear before people you follow, including friends and family. You can snooze those posts, choosing to hide similar recommendations for a time. Sometimes, it can be difficult to find the actual people you follow in your feed between sponsored posts and these suggested ones.
Snoozing and letting Instagram know when an ad or post is irrelevant to you can help to tailor the feed a bit more and give you a fraction of control. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than nothing.
If You Prefer a Chronological Instagram Feed, How Can You Change the View?
Instagram has announced that it will be returning the chronological feed and has added the feature back into the app, but it’s somewhat hidden. It has been six years since the interest-based feed took over, and many users are ready and waiting for the ability to switch back – at least somewhat.
There are two settings you can use to adjust what you see – Following and Favorites. The Following setting will show your home feed in chronological order, and the Favorites setting is even more condensed and is more like the interest-based view. However, users have to designate an account as a Favorite by adding them to the new Favorites List.
To view the app in either setting, go to your home feed, click the large Instagram logo in the top left corner, and choose either Following or Favorites from the drop-down. The downside is that you’ll still get those sponsored and suggested posts no matter which one you choose.
Thankfully, Instagram has updated the setting to default to whichever option you chose last. You’ll see a checkmark on the one you have selected when you click on the Instagram logo in the app.
What’s more, it’s important to remember that you can follow hashtags, and if you do so, those posts will show up in your Following feed just like an account. So, suppose those hashtags are especially popular, and you aren’t seeing your friends and family as much as you want. In that case, you may need to unfollow a few hashtags, also called topics.
I hope you enjoyed this information about viewing the Instagram feed, and it helps you set the app up the way you want. Share your additional tips about adjusting how Instagram shows you your feed in the comments and help your fellow users get back to seeing things they want to see!