News & Events, Tech

Instagram’s chronological feed will return in 2022

Out with the old, in with the even older?

words by: Sahar Khraibani
Dec 17, 2021

Instagram just revealed that it is working on bringing the classic chronological feed back to the platform. Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri responded to people’s questions about the restoration of the chronological feed in a series of Q&As, and also highlighted it while testifying before Congress on December 8 about child safety issues on the social media platform.



Short history about the IG feed

When the Instagram app first launched in 2010, it had a chronological feed, but in 2016, the business shifted to an algorithm-based feed, which it stuck to until recently. To accomplish personalization, the algorithmic feed prioritizes information depending on user behavior rather than chronology. Despite the company’s claims to the contrary, the algorithmic feed was not well received by the majority of users.


Instagram has now announced that it is working on bringing back the chronological feed and that it will be available early next year. So, 2022 will be seeing a return to it. The new version of the chronological feed, however, would be slightly different from how it was before 2016.


How the “new” chronological feed could work

The company is experimenting with two alternative versions of the chronological feed. The first version will provide you with an option to choose favorites, which will be visible right at the top. The other version will display items from everyone you follow’s feeds in chronological order on your feed. The feed is currently being tested and will be available on the app in the near future.


You may be wondering, what is going to happen to the algorithmic feed that is currently in use? Though it has been confirmed that Instagram is bringing back the chronological feed, the social media platform has stressed that this does not mean the current algorithmic feed will be phased out. Instead, consumers will have the ability to switch from an algorithmic to a chronological stream. Ranking still helps individuals connect with material that is relevant to them and allows consumers greater control over their experience.


Why did Instagram make the switch to an algorithmic feed?

When it first started in 2010, Instagram was merely a photo-sharing app. As a result, a chronological feed appeared appropriate for a single stream of images. However, as the user base grew and the amount of content on the app increased, it became increasingly difficult for people to browse through all of the stuff from the people they were following. People were missing roughly 70% of the posts on their feed with the chronological feed, according to the company’s estimations.


In 2016, Instagram made the decision to implement a ranking-based algorithmic feed. The new feed prioritized material based on user preferences and ranked posts depending on user activity. To personalize the user experience, each area of the app – Feed, Explore, and Reels – now employs distinct coding algorithms.


In other IG news, Instagram is testing a tool that helps creators find sponsors.