When Instagram launched in early 2010, the photo-only app was known for its chronological feed, since paid advertisements and business tools were nowhere in sight until years later. The app switched to an algorithm-based feed in 2016 and have been incredibly set in their ways about following it until recently. 

The algorithm concept had been designed to prioritise content based on users’ activity to create a more personal experience on the app. While Instagram had plenty to say about the feed’s cutting edge abilities, most users’ have said to have felt unhappy since the update arrived.

After four years of the algorithm feed, Instagram has been said to be working on reviving the chronological Instagram feed which will be re-introduced in early 2022.

experimenting chronologically


It will be interesting to see how the new chronological feed will work since Instagram are releasing it with some differences this time around. The announcement from Instagram CEO, Adam Mosseri, mentioned that the platform would be offering two different versions of the chronological feed.

The social network is experimenting with the two feeds, offering the option to choose to show favourites, which would be content personalised to you, or chronologically, from the people you follow. While the concept is currently under development, it will soon be available and drifting its way through accounts. 

we are not saying goodbye to the algorithm just yet…


Offering both options means that Instagram will not be saying an official goodbye to their beloved algorithm just yet. Instagram has clarified that users will get the option to switch between the two, which Adam Mosseri believes to be important to give users more control over how they utilise the platform. The overall aim is to allow users to connect with content on a whole new level.

can you sort Instagram posts by date?

Since its launch, Instagram has been well-loved for its strictly photo-sharing notion. Because of this, the chronological feed arguably works best. People enjoy seeing their friends and loved ones sharing their experiences on the app, and while they are not totally invisible otherwise, the algorithmic option focuses more on personalised preferences such as advertisements and brand posts. 

However, even with the chronological feed still in place before 2016, the number of users on the platform became so high that people were missing over 70% of the posts on their feed. At this point, Instagram felt the need to make a powerful change. The new feed began to order posts based entirely on user activity and preferences. Today, your feed, explore page and even reels now use carefully coded algorithms for greater personalisation and currently, you can not sort Instagram posts by date. 

Facebook’s influence 

You may be familiar with Facebook’s decision to offer the choice between viewing your ‘most recent’ feed or through the algorithm. This is something users have to select manually each time they visit the platform, which is a decision that Instagram has also made. This option is likely to appear as a visible toggle menu on the homepage. 

The menu is rumoured to include both a ‘favourites’ and ‘following’ option. ‘Favourites’ will allow users to select profiles that can be added to the ‘favourites’ list and it is predicted that the ‘following’ feed will display posts in reverse chronological order. Like Facebook, it is not likely that this will be a set option and is something you may have to select each time you use Instagram. 

what will the new update mean for brands and businesses?

There are both advantages and disadvantages to the upcoming update.  With algorithmic-focused feeds, it is arguably easier for a brand to get its name out there and a chronological feed may require a lot more time and effort to make a true impression and gain traction. 

A chronological feed is something that users want because people are afraid to miss the little moments, whereas an algorithm will focus on the bigger, somewhat more important content. Perhaps Instagram is ensuring that the requirement to change options each time users open the app is because they know most people won’t keep up with it with each use. This means that although the chronological offering is there, most will still experience the engagement benefits of the algorithm-heavy feed regardless.

While it might not be taking things back exactly to how they once were, Instagram is almost trying to find a middle ground where everyone enjoys their time on the app. For those marketing a brand, it is essential to keep up with the latest trends, consumer behaviour and how they digest the content you are already posting

Instagram Business Tools is a great way to view relevant and useful data on how your content is perceived. If something isn’t working currently you will need to think deeper to compete in an already saturated market.

At Rooster, we believe it is important to curate posts that inspire, educate and entertain. All content is generated in the tone of a brand advocate, which is always meticulously measured and reported in a simple to understand way so clients can see great results with ease. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help your brand speak louder than the masses.