For the last however many years, you big babies have been pissing your diaps and crying over Instagram no longer having a chronological timeline. Boohoo, you wailed, I hate this meanie algorithm, algorithms are big baddies, I just want to see the most recent photos.
Well, guess what, you paci-sucking onesie-wearers: You got it. Starting today, Instagram is offering a way to view your feed in reverse chronological order. At the top of the app, there will be an option to view two reverse chronological feeds: “Following,” which shows everyone you follow, or “Favorites,” which has up to 50 people you follow.
Favorites seems most useful if you want to keep track of a handful of your IRL friends who may not post as frequently as other creators or accounts you also follow. It’s also the closest Instagram has ever come to offering a list to help you sort who you follow, like Twitter does. (Lists on Twitter are handy for keeping track of accounts that you don’t actually want to follow in your main feed, but want to check in on sometimes — something that would be very nice to have on Instagram.)
Instagram is adding a "Following" and "Favorites" feed option in chronological order.
Here’s the thing, you bibbed-up mushed-pea-munchers: You’re going to hate it. I guarantee you that you will come crawling back to the algorithm (well, technically you have to — every time you reopen the app it will default back to the main ranked feed). Just like actual babies, you lack object permanence and can’t remember what it was actually like back in 2013 when Instagram was chronological — you just have this vague fuzzy memory of it being “awesome.” But you probably only followed 40 people then and they all posted cool and interesting stuff. Now you follow 300 accounts and it turns out most of them post boring shit you don’t care about.
Do you remember this shitty experience? It’s 2014: The Ellen Oscar selfie is giving you life. You slip on your skinny jeans and scroll Instagram for a bit, see all the latest photos, and then close the app. Thirty minutes later, you open it again — there are three new photos, but then you’re back to all the stuff you just saw. And now you have to scroll down down down down to get even further in the past to find an older post you hadn’t already seen. This sucked!
The algorithm is good, actually. It makes it so you always get new fresh photos every time you open the app, and it helps surface the most relevant and interesting stuff. If you think that Instagram doesn’t know what accounts you actually care about or what photos you want to see, hahahahaha. It knows, it definitely knows. Do you think Instagram can’t tell the difference between an engagement photo from your high school friend versus a text post from an influencer? Of course it knows!
And do you know what has an algorithmic feed that serves up fresh and interesting-to-you content that you love and cherish? TikTok! Somehow TikTok managed the old “hide the spinach in the applesauce” trick to get you big babies to gulp down its algorithm to squeals of delight, even after you scrunched up your noses and said, “No algy! NO!” when the Instagram feed tried the ol’ “here comes the airplane” trick. To be fair, Tiktok’s For You page is so enjoyable because it’s not solely based on people you follow; it’s videos you’re delightfully surprised by.
Like babies, you will all one day grow into toddlers, and you will learn the harsh realities of this world, like how Blippi once pooped on his friend (sorry kids, it’s time you knew about this). And when you big babies learn that the Instagram chronological feed actually sucks dog balls, you can still come crawling back to big daddy Zucky and his ranked feed.