Right now it’s a non-chronological mishmash of the same accounts.
Social media is addictive and bad for us, and we all know that by now. But I’m not here to chastise anyone for being hooked on Twitter or getting high on the Gram or even lurking around on Facebook. If we’re all going to be hooked on these apps, we might as well have them not suck as well. Which is why, I want to implore someone, anyone working on Instagram at Facebook to hear my plea: CAN WE PLEASE JUST GET THE CHRONOLOGICAL TIMELINE BACK?
Here, for example, is an instructive insight from my GQ colleague Kevin Nguyen:
You see, Instagram’s feed, timeline, stream, or whatever it’s actually called, uses an algorithm that’s designed to show you the people and photos that it thinks you most want to see. This sounds good in theory, and for a while, maybe it even was good in practice, but now it seems as though every time I go on Instagram, I see photos from the same few people and nobody else. I follow hundreds of accounts and yet I see the same fifteen to twenty-five people over and over again.
Instead of the newest photo my friend from college posted, I get served a six-day old photo from my ex-girlfriend’s mom who won’t stop taking pictures of her cats. Now I guess this is because I have close friends who take pictures of their cats, and I like those occasionally, so Instagram’s algorithm seems to be yelling, “GET THIS GUY MORE CATS, ASAP!” Which is unfortunate, because honestly I’m more of a dog person anyway. As it stands, the algorithm is just doing a little too much. It greatly overrates the accounts I follow that have tons of followers and then mixes those in with the chosen few friends I have that it deems worthy at the expense of, well, everyone else. How is this better? What’s the point of following people if I’m never going to see their photos?
In the short term, there is a somewhat clumsy workaround. If you want to see more photos from people you follow but never get to see: search for them and click on their profiles. Like a few of their photos. This will make the algorithm show them more often. Of course, downside is, it will probably mean it will show you someone else less often. Why do we have to choose, Instagram? Why?! I will happily pick up from where I was before and scroll through all of them!
If you’re going to create this thing that sucks me in and makes me addicted to my phone, the least you could do is show me a variety of things. I suspect I’m hardly alone here, either.
More Info: www.gq.com