Instagram update removes posted times from top of updates ahead of new algorithmic timeline

It was once easy to see how long ago an update went up — now it requires scrolling down and looking in the fine print

Instagram has made a tiny but important change to its app, ahead of the introduction of non-chronological timelines.

The company has announced that it is set to start arranging people’s feeds not by the time since an update was posted, but rather by how interested in it users are likely to be. That will make the feed a little more like Facebook, with a range of different posts rather than a simple chronology.

And now Instagram appears to have moved the indication of how old a post is from the top right of an update, making it much harder to see how long ago an update went out. That happened at the same time as the new timeline was announced and is presumably in anticipation of it, so that people don’t easily see exactly how old the posts they are looking at are.

The indication that used to sit in the top corner — displaying the time in hours, days or weeks — has instead been moved to the very bottom of posts, beneath even people’s comments. In its place has come a little arrow that allows people to bring up more options for any given post, such as reporting it or sharing it on other social networks.

The change does not seem to be showing for all users of the app.

Instagram said that it would be rolling out the non-chronological timeline to users in the coming weeks. It will be gradually improved during that time in an attempt to make sure that people were seeing what they wanted to see, the company said.