I tried Instagram’s new chronological feed and the experience isn’t satisfying at all

I tried Instagram’s new chronological feed and the experience isn’t satisfying at all
Instagram now lets you experience the chronological feed but the experience isn't what it used to be.Unsplash
  • Instagram is testing new feed options out of which one is the chronological feed.
  • This feature lets users view posts only from accounts they follow and in chronological order.
  • But the chronological feed isn’t how it’s supposed to be with the experience lacking in many ways.
Instagram last week brought back feature users have been requesting for years — the chronological feed. It’s not launched yet but the feature is in testing and will be available to all during the first half of this year. Instagram axed this feedback in 2016 opting for an algorithm-based one that shows posts based on what it thinks you will like.

Instagram head Adam Mosseri announced the feature last week saying that users now have three feed options out of which one is chronological. Mosseri acknowledged that most people “don’t get through their feed” so switching to a different feed could be helpful in catching up with accounts you follow.

The algorithm-based feed is still there but what you’re also getting is a chronological feed with posts from only accounts you follow, and another that shows posts from only your favourite accounts. The algorithm-based is ‘Home’, the chronological one ‘Following’ and the third ‘Favourites’. You can manually add accounts to your favourites list and you will see posts from only them, and this feed too is chronological.

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The new options do sound exciting especially with the return of the chronological feed but the initial experience has so far been poor and if this is the final product then Instagram has a lot of work to do.

Hard to locate the feature

Locating the feature itself is difficult since it’s not visibly shown on the app like the Explore page or Reels. There are two ways of getting it — one is to tap on the Instagram logo on top and select the feed from the drop-down menu or scroll through your feed and select the ‘Home’ option on top. You may even miss the Home option on top while you’re scrolling through the feed. A better displayed icon for this feature would be very helpful for people who are completely unaware of this new feature.
I tried Instagram’s new chronological feed and the experience isn’t satisfying at all
The feed options can be accessed from the top left corner of the app.BI India


No Stories carousel on other feeds

Another major catch is that you don’t get to see the Stories carousel when you’re on the chronological or favourites feed. It only shows posts from accounts you follow or those on your favourite feed. To view Stories, you have to go back to the Home feed. According to Mosseri, the new feed options are for users to quickly switch to different feeds. Yes, this is a quick way to switch between feeds but not seeing the Stories carousel can ruin the experience.
I tried Instagram’s new chronological feed and the experience isn’t satisfying at all
The Stories carousel isn't visible in the following or favourites feed.BI India

Inaccurate chronological timeline

The whole point of the chronological feed is to show the latest posts from accounts you follow. This way you can catch up on all the posts as they’re put up on Instagram. But on this new feed, the timeline isn’t accurate as some posts which don’t follow the chronological timeline are shown in between.
I tried Instagram’s new chronological feed and the experience isn’t satisfying at all
The posts don't appear in a chronological order.BI India

A better experience

An example of a good chronological feed is what Twitter offers where you can switch between the recommendation-based timeline or one that shows the latest tweets as they’re posted. Since this feature is still in testing, more improvements are expected and the final product could offer a much better experience. Instagram hasn’t provided a date for when the “full experience” will be rolled out in the first half of this year.

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