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Did Instagram Just Bring Back Chronological Feeds?

Did Instagram Just Bring Back Chronological Feeds?

Instagram may be changing the way you see images in your feed once again. The surprising thing is that this new change might actually be for the better. 

Since the start, most photographers have favored Instagram over any other social media. That is until they were acquired by Facebook. Since then, the platform has become worse and worse over time. The final straw that broke the camel's back was the introduction of the Facebook-like algorithm that quickly made your posts invisible to the majority of your followers. But today it seems that may be changing.

While there has been no official announcement from Instagram about any changes to their algorithm, more and more people have noticed a drastically different feed. While my own feed is not in perfect chronological order, the posts are actually within minutes of each other. This is a lot different from the normal posts that are separated by hours and even days. I have also seen a spike in my recent engagement. My past couple posts getting double the engagement I was seeing on average.

With recent apps such as Vero, it may be that Instagram has felt the pressure to finally start caring what its users want. Or this could just be Instagram testing a new algorithm that is better then what it used prior, but still not exactly chronological.

What does your current feed look like? Did the past algorithm change make you use Instagram less? Would you use Instagram more if it went back to chronological?

Jason Vinson's picture

Jason Vinson is a wedding and portrait photographer for Vinson Images based out of Bentonville, Arkansas. Ranked one of the Top 100 Wedding photographers in the World, he has a passion for educating and sharing his craft.

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I view IG on desktop browser most of the time, and it doesn't appear chronological. However! I notice most of the pictures in my feed are timestamped within past 24 hours, while before, I'd get pics that were uploaded days ago.

However! checking a couple feeds of a couple accounts, these pictures are still not their most current picture.

I think so, if not completely then more chronological that before.

Mine isn't exactly chronological, but it's much closer than it was anytime in recent memory.

Maybe they’re rolling it out slowly. Mine is still completely scattered. Second image in my feed was 3 days ago. I’m crossing my fingers though.

They definitely did something because I’m seeing posts from people I forgot I followed. The algorithm was apparently not showing me their posts before.

same here.

And not perfect chronological order, but close.

". . .Instagram has felt the pressure to finally start caring what its users want."

OMG I can't even imagine a world where that is the case haha :P

I just truly don't understand why FB/IG needs to manipulate feeds. I'm friends with / follow people for a reason. If not for the near-neccessity of getting yourself out there, I'd probably drop these platforms altogether.

FB has become a sewer; I originally loved it years ago to catch up with people I'd lost touch with. But, as time went on we all prove to each other "why we can't have nice things". lol. IG and all the nonsense with algorythms, it's mindboggling. We're all just part of some elaborate psychological experiments in these environments.

Because money mo money.

Seriously though, they do have to monetize IG somehow. They have their bottom line and stakeholders to think about. So, yes, ads and tweaking streams are necessary to maximize the ad-buyers' dollars. I'm okay with that. Thrilled? No. But I do understand the business side of their decisions.

Consider the alternative: no revenue = no instagram for anyone.

Money makes the world go 'round. And we're spoiled with these free social media sites, so we'll continue to complain when something changes.

But if any of them started to charge a monthly fee, the usership would fall off a cliff into an abyss. Addictions or not...

The constant refresh of the feed also drives me nuts. If I click on any comments or people then return back to the original post on the timeline it almost never fails that the feed will refresh and I will lose the post I was on completely. Or if I am looking at something, exit the app then re-open I lose my place. Extremely aggravating.

update, the refreshing/altering your place on the timeline seems to have gone away too!

yeah i really hate that crap. >:( annoys the hell out of me.

My bad this was an accidental double post. I would delete it but the drop down box to the button refuses to expand :(

No noticeable change here yet. Here's hoping they do take a hint and fix the order. Im still baffled at how they have not figured out that potrait crop needs to be fixed as well. As much as Vero isnt my cup of tea at least it allows me to post in the aspect ratio I composed it in!

"If you'd like people to see your post in the correct order, please hit the boost button. While you're at it go ahead and pay us to feature your page and then just for the hell of it, throw us more money just so we don't accidentally disable your page like we've started to do."

Written by Instagram with Facebook standing over their shoulder to make sure they get the suck right.


Giving Vero any credit here is absurd haha. I completely stopped hearing any mention of it 48 hours after I first heard of it.

I literally just saw someone say the are giving it a try before reading your comment.

Giving it a try is light years away from abandoning the largest photography-focused social media and switching to it. I also have "given it a try" in the sense that I downloaded it but don't really see the merit. It's like a new restaurant; Just because it's new doesn't mean it's good. Anyone remember Ello? It came out, everyone was like "that's it, Facebook is dead."

Good, bad or indifferent. Make no mistake. The surge in downloading of the Vero app is very much on Zuckerberg's radar which is fine by me.

I did notice a big change this week, getting more followers, like my page was viewed by more people, even people not currently following. (HOPE IT STAYS THIS WAY) hehe.

I'd say my enagagement is pretty much on par of what it's been since the change, although I have been getting a few more followers than usual.


That would be great! That's why I had hope for Vero, that they'd force IG back to their old ways. You know...it's the small things that make me happy.

how do i get them to stop adding people that i follow to my account ? i unfollow probably a dozen a day that i know for a fact i never followed.

"The surprising thing is that this new change might actually be for the better." This says everything you need to know about Instagram. "Surprising..might..be..better." Sigh.

It sounds like they’re just seeing the same algorithmically-selected posts sorted in order of recency. The point of chronological (and why people want it back) was that you saw ALL posts, in order. This still leaves out the posts they decide you don’t need to see.

With the change, I think I'm seeing everything now. At least I'm seeing posts from people who haven't shown in my feed for a long time!

After reading this I randomly looked at three photos in my feed...2 hours ago, then 10 minutes ago, then 12 hours ago in order. So not quite chronological.

It almost seems like if it's more than a few hours, it falls into the algorythm abyss.

I personally went from getting only 600 likes to 1000 likes on my last photo, thanks IG!

And I went from 15 to about 20, thanks... Obama?

You can't thank Obama for something positive :O People will run after you with pitchforks!

Circling back to this yet again...

Everyone has a personal Facebook account, but I've added a phot-specific page as well -

My followers have grown over the last year, and I learned that sharing my posts to many groups would result in a decent enough reach, added followers, more reach... then FaceCrook started to clamp down. Long story short, they've banned me now about 4 or 5 times (one or two weeks at a clip), under the guise that I'm violating their spamming no-no's and other unwritten terms that they cite, but don't have links to. Then immediately after, they push the 'promote your page' nonsense and spam the hell out of you for the duration of your suspension, and never take their foot off that pedal. Funny thing is though, I did that once and they porked me for $75 over two day's time, and didn't deliver a fraction of the reach they promised... and in my routine sharing, I'd dwarf that reach. It's a sham and a half.

IG, I keep two separate accounts; one for the budding portrait work, the other my more personalized street profile. I signed up for Vero, but it's so new and falls under "If a tree falls in the forest, and there's nobody around to hear, does it make a sound?" category for the time being. So, I'm putting in the time and effort to build my website up and blog with it to. It will take time...