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Instagram addresses chronological feed problem by prioritising new posts in app update

The change will make the feed feel 'more fresh'

Andrew Griffin
Thursday 22 March 2018 15:58 GMT
Instagram addresses chronological feed problem by prioritising new posts in app update

Instagram is changing its news feed so that it prioritises new posts.

The site has long been criticised for removing the chronological timeline, which sorted posts just by how recently they went up. And the new update goes some way to addressing it, by changing to put new posts first.

It won't get rid of the algorithmic feed, and posts will still appear out of order. But it will promote newer posts, which should mean there are fewer very old pictures appearing in the feed.

"Based on your feedback, we're also making changes to ensure that newer posts are more likely to appear first in feed," it wrote in a blog post. "With these changes, your feed will feel more fresh, and you won't miss the moments you care about. So if your best friend shares a selfie from her vacation in Australia, it will be waiting for you when you wake up."

As well as the changes to the algorithm that decides how posts show, Instagram also said it would change the way it refreshes to show new posts. Sometimes, the app automatically refreshes and throws people up to the top of the feed – that will no longer happen, it said, and instead people will have to press on a "New Posts" button.

Taken together, the changes are an attempt to make the feed feel more "timely", Instagram said. Various users have complained that the timeline often feels stale, with the algorithm showing posts that have been taken days ago.

The company also suggested that new changes will be coming soon. "Our goal is to be the best place to share and connect with the people and interests that matter most to you," it said.

Instagram removed the chronological feed in 2016, in a move that it claimed was aimed at ensuring people saw the most relevant posts. But users have been angry ever since, claiming that the changes mean they miss important updates.

In an attempt to address that, Instagram users flooded their followers' feeds with pleas to turn on post notifications so that their posts wouldn't be missed. And last month many Instagram users briefly moved to use an alternative called Vero, which among other things promised a return to the chronological timeline.

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