Your Instagram feed will no longer be in chronological order

Like parent company Facebook, the photo-sharing service will show users the posts it thinks will interest them most at the top of their feed.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read

Instagram plans to change the order of your feed to highlight more relevant items.


Instagram is taking a page from its parent Facebook with plans to display posts by relevance rather than in chronological order.

The service, which lets you share your own photos and videos and view those of other users, currently puts the newest posts up top in your feed. But in a blog posted on Tuesday, Instagram said "your feed will soon be ordered to show the moments we believe you will care about the most."

How will Instagram decide what it thinks you want to see first?

"The order of photos and videos in your feed will be based on the likelihood you'll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post," the company said in its blog post. "As we begin, we're focusing on optimizing the order -- all the posts will still be there, just in a different order.

The move puts Instagram in line with its fellow social media heavyweights. Facebook and Twitter already sort feeds based on presumed interest and appeal over straight chronology. It's all part of the constant jockeying for advantage and user loyalty in a world where alternatives are just a click away. In recent months, for instance, Facebook has added features such as live video and new emojis, while Twitter has collated news events into Moments and now also lets users run simple polls.

Instagram has become a major social media player, with around 400 million users. That's much less than Facebook's 1.5 billion but more than Twitter's 320 million.

Some users may balk at Instagram's decision to tweak feeds based on algorithms, as it might make them feel less in control. But as is, Instagram users miss around 70 percent of their feeds, according to the company. So the hope is that under the new system, users will see the posts that are the most relevant and interesting to them without having to scroll indefinitely.

Instagram touted the change by citing a couple of examples you wouldn't want to miss:

If your favorite musician shares a video from last night's concert, it will be waiting for you when you wake up, no matter how many accounts you follow or what time zone you live in. And when your best friend posts a photo of her new puppy, you won't miss it.

The sorting change will occur sometime in the coming months, the company said. Instagram promised it would take its time to get the new experience right and listen to the feedback of its users as the change rolls out.