After years of complaints, Instagram is finally changing its algorithm to look more like its original chronological timeline. Since Instagram’s switch to an engagement-based algorithm in 2016, users have only been able to see posts Instagram assumed they’d be interested in seeing. In some cases, the formula has increased activity on certain posts; however, over time, it has created much negative feedback and criticism.
Most of the complaints focused on the fact that old photos lingered too long on one’s feed. Plus, the app seemed to favor posts that received more engagement and attention, rather than immediacy.
Although Instagram is not bringing back the chronological news feed, it is making new adjustments that will “feel more fresh,” according to The New York Times. The new algorithm will ensure posts are more timely, and the company is testing out a “New Post” button that will allow users to refresh their news feed whenever they want, rather than automatically getting directed straight to the top.
Since Instagram’s feed ranking is based on many different factors, the company is constantly seeking ways to create the right balance between timeliness and relevance for its users. Especially with the onset of competitors like Snapchat, Twitter, and WhatsApp, the company must meet the needs of an increasingly fragmented user base. As users continue to leave Snapchat due to its recent redesign, perhaps more people will start using Instagram with this new algorithm tweak.