top of page

The Chronological Feed is Back on Instagram

Instagram has been teasing it for years now, and it's finally here. Instagram is rolling out the option to experience your Instagram feed in chronological order instead of an order decided by the ever powerful Instagram algorithm. We're breaking down what the new feed options are and how they will affect your Instagram experience.

On January 5th, Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri announced the new changes rolling out to the Instagram feed. The feed will soon be split into three categories: Home, Following, and Favorites. Watch Mosseri's full video below.

The Differences Between the New Feed Options

Home: The Home feed is going to be almost identical to the Instagram you've used for the past year ... except more and more suggested content is going to pop up in your feed. Sure, you'll still see posts from your friends and favorite creators, but slowly and surely, your feed will be populated with content that Instagram thinks will keep you scrolling.

Following: The Following feed will allow you to view posts in a chronological order from accounts you follow. Mosseri said Instagram is giving users this option so they'll have a way to easily view the most recent updates from creators, friends, and family.

Favorites: The Favorites feed will allow you to curate a group of accounts in a paired down feed. Instead of hoping the algorithm suggests posts from your favorite accounts or that you'll log on when your favorite accounts' posts are at the top of the chronological feed, you can head to your Favorites feed to make sure you never miss a post from the accounts that matter most to you.

What Do the New Feed Options Mean for the Future of Instagram?

Shock of all shocks, we think these feed options are foretelling an app that will begin to function more and more like the TikTok app. TikTok opens to a fully suggested, infinite scroll feed, and users can swipe right to access content from accounts they actually follow. Sound familiar to Instagram's new feed options?

With the wild success of TikTok and its wicked accurate algorithm, it's not surprising that Instagram wants to mimic TikTok's features. In 2021, TikTok officially overtook Instagram in popularity with Gen Z. And at this point, anyone who is ignoring the preferences of Gen Z is behind the times. Gen Z has $360 billion of disposable income. With the recent addition of Instagram Shopping, Instagram needs to find a way to get Gen Z back on their app if they want to get some of that spending power back on their platform.

How the New Feed Options Could Effect Your Brand

When these new feed options finally hit all accounts (this should happen in the first half of 2022, according to Mosseri's statement on Instagram), we're all going to experience a learning curve together. While we don't know how the new feeds will affect us all, we do have some predictions.

We're all going to have to pay more attention to when our audiences are active on Instagram. Because the option for a chronological feed now exists, posting when your audience is most active will certainly get more eyes on your content. Encouraging your followers to add your account to their Favorites feed will be the most effective way to make sure they consistently see your content.

Hot take: Asking your followers to add you to their Favorites could backfire if you're posting 7+ times every week. If you encourage accounts to add you to their Favorites feed, and they suddenly become aware that you post more than once a day ... it could quickly lead to an unfollow. We think the Following feed and Favorites feed could actually be extremely detrimental to influencers who share sponsored posts multiple times a day. Their followers will suddenly see all of those posts, instead of the one that makes it through the algorithm's web. While we all like to complain about the algorithm, it actually shields us from fluff content that we aren't actually interested in. When that shield is removed, you might discover how uninterested you are in content from accounts you follow.

Only time will tell ...

And remember, Instagram feature roll outs hit everybody at different times. Some of our clients are already experiencing the new feed options, while Media À La Carte's account doesn't have access yet. If you want to be the first to learn how these new feed updates are affecting Instagram, be sure to subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.