No, Instagram Is Not Bringing Back the Chronological Feed

No, Instagram Is Not Bringing Back the Chronological Feed

Your posts will still be out of order. And here's why we are so confident about it.

Once upon of time, we had Facebook, and it was good for our businesses. Then, they made an algorithm that hid the majority of our posts from our audiences. We moved to Instagram where we had control over the order and the visibility of our posts. Facebook bought Instagram and incorporated the same algorithm. We were just about to leave Instagram, when suddenly, it seemed that the good old days of chronological order were going to come back. Unfortunately, the rumors were proven false by Instagram's own spokesperson, who said:

No, Instagram is not testing chronological feed.

You may ask yourself why so many social network platforms changed their feed flow paradigm? The answer is simple: profit from high engagement and ads. Posts that are getting more attention may bring more profit to the platform, because they will keep people busy on the platform, which in turn will inevitably show them more ads. This is why your feed won't be displayed in order anytime soon.

Is this the beginning of the end or this is going to give birth to a new social network?

Log in or register to post comments

32 Comments

Vilmos Vincze's picture

Yes, I’d be happy to see the birth of a new social network.
If you want to use Instagram or Facebook for promoting your photography business, it’s a terrible, daunting task, that requires a fulltime employee’s efforts to constantly generate traffic.
I think, it’s a better investment to directly promote your own website with about half as much effort.
(Actually, FB & Co., in too many respects, is a curse on the free internet and a curse on society in general.)
Even as a 10 minutes/day casual user without any marketing goals, I find Instagram’s feed flow so frustrating, I’ve stopped looking at it. Rather, I go directly to the individual feeds of those I follow.
Others made note of this as well, e.g.:
https://www.wsj.com/articles/instagram-is-turning-into-facebook-and-that...
Or:
https://daringfireball.net/2017/06/fuck_facebook

Tihomir Lazarov's picture

That is true. I don't use Facebook for marketing. Instagram is just because others have it, but my clients are not coming from either of them.

I do think blogs are the best social media. You can follow whoever you want and you don't get filtered.

Jen Photographs's picture

Fstopper has been writing about Vero (Veero? Not sure. Something like that) recently. It sounds interesting, but I'm not keen on yet another social media channel to keep up on. I don't have a smartphone, so I can't explore it nor recommend it.

Simon Davies's picture

“Posts that are getting more attention may bring more profit to the platform, because they will keep people busy on the platform, which in turn will inevitably show them more ads.”

I don’t understand this. The algorithm is driving people away, so how does it keep people busy on the platform?

I browse Instagram far less now, because I only see posts from the same handful of people. The algorithm has made it a much less pleasant experience, and I’m looking for a replacement social network, as are many others. (Plus there are so many ads.)

I get that they did it to make more money, but I don’t get how it makes people use it more.

Klaus Scherer's picture

I don't know if you have already noticed it, but there is another social Network available:
https://ello.co

Tihomir Lazarov's picture

I feel I'm getting too old for the next new social network. As I said above, I think blogs are the best outlet.

Ted Chen's picture

There are plenty of new, niche networks popping up here and there, but I think a big new player hasn't been since Snapchat? Right now we are stuck with the same FB, IG, Pinterest, Linkedin, Twitter

Tihomir Lazarov's picture

To me personally, none of these brings me clients, or maybe the most unlikely for most photographers: LinkedIn. I don't have a Snapchat, I don't even intend to create an account, because it requires you to constantly post, and post, becoming a slave of the application. As photographers we should focus on portfolio and working with our current clients, not with an image of someone who doesn't have any other life (like a professional one) rather than the internet. But that's my opinion.

Aaron Lyfe's picture

Facebook and Instagram are sinking ships which are rapidly devolving into MySpace 3.0 from a social aspect. I have pulled my personal life from these platforms and have not looked back. As for Instagram, it is a horrible platform for photographers to display images. It is good for what they designed it for and that is phone photography.

I've been trying out Vero. It seems to be OK for the moment though it is restricted to mobile apps only. I will have to say it is organic. Hopefully this is the start of a new trend, people developing social networks to fix where FB went wrong.

Tihomir Lazarov's picture

Instagram was also (and still is) a mobile app.

Aaron Lyfe's picture

But you can access via a web browser and upload images via the API such as the awesome LR/Instagram plugin for Lightroom. One can only speculate that this was good for photographers but also is what opened up the flood gates to mass marketing and botting..... which seems to be over 60% of my engagement I get now days.

Vero on the other hand, can only be accessed via an Android or Apple app. Not good for exporting directly from LR but can easily share via any other app. Though it does handle wide aspect ratios which has always been a shortcoming of IG.

I've said it before, IG will devolve to a place where people just advertise to one another or just post endless selfies and memes thus bypassing the whole "social" aspect of it's original intention.

Tihomir Lazarov's picture

I agree about the API and the web access, but it wasn't like that in the early days. It was just like Vero.

The source of the downfall of all these platforms is greed. They can be profitable, but someone thinks they can be extremely profitable and this reaches to the point of outflow.

Jason Lorette's picture

Vero also doesn't appear to compress the crap out of your photos like FB.

Tihomir Lazarov's picture

Probably because they don't store everything forever like... you know who.

Julian Foglietti's picture

Instagram requires people using it to generate profit.... everyone seems to hate the new algorithms so why don’t we just boycott Instagram until they rework their algorithms, remove the shadow banning, and provide better support? I feel like it wouldn’t be that hard..... Personally as a documentary photographer Instagram is invaluable for promotion as nearly no one check my website regularly. They rely on my social media presence to broadcast the stories I tell.

Tihomir Lazarov's picture

I think the majority use Instagram and FB purely for gossip. There is a smaller percentage that use it for actual business and photographers are a fraction of that business niche.

Julian Foglietti's picture

Regardless, if the content creators choose to boycott the platform there will be no content to keep people on. It’s not just photographers suffering from this but anyone who has built a large following. If all of the content creators chose to just stop using Insta until they improve our visibility, they would have to do something about it.

Tihomir Lazarov's picture

It's all about profit here. It's like telling them: try to decrease your profit and we will get back to you.

Deleted Account's picture

If you can get everyone to stop using it I'd be the first person to take advantage of the opportunity to be the only "content creator" and produce ton of growth for myself.... see the problem with that?

Pat Black's picture

this article should cite by name the spokesperson for instagram, or atleast the source of this information

Tihomir Lazarov's picture

You can find the source of information at the bottom of every such article. There is "via Co.Design" in this case.

Pat Black's picture

Thanks for replying Tihomir, this was more of a Criticism with Co.Design than you because they Do not mention the person by name in their article, which leads to very shady journalism.

Tihomir Lazarov's picture

Photographers like them shadows, even when writing articles :)

Brandon Adam's picture

You’re right, it definitely is about profits. Unfortunately as soon as a social media platform decides to become publicly traded, user experience goes down the drain. It’s no longer about happy users, it’s about happy stock holders.

Deleted Account's picture

It's the circle of life for social networks.

Tihomir Lazarov's picture

Keep in mind the data they are collecting costs way more than the direct profits from advertisers. They can actually use that data for user behavior analysis and sell it to 3rd parties sometimes (depending on the never-read-10000-pages-terms-and-conditions).

Edgard Rodriguez's picture

"You may ask yourself why so many social network platforms changed their feed flow paradigm? The answer is simple: profit from high engagement and ads.".... This could be another reason: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/mar/17/facebook-cambridge-an...

Tihomir Lazarov's picture

Yes. BTW, "adverto" means "to turn someone's attention to," which can be used in any sense, not just product or service marketing. In this case it could be called service marketing too.

More comments