Instagram has announced new changes to the timeline based on user feedback. One of these changes is the introduction of ‘New Posts’ button that lets you manually refresh. This prevents the previous automatic refreshing of the timeline that had a habit of yanking you out of whichever part of the app you were in and throwing you at the start of your timeline. Users can now manually refresh whenever they want without the app doing it for them.
The other change is a slightly more chronological timeline. Instagram introduced an algorithmic timeline that sorted posts based on what it thinks you’d like to see instead of the more logical reverse chronological timeline that people were used to before. After much backlash, Instagram will not mostly show posts in order. To be clear, it’s still not perfectly chronological like people wanted and you might still see things randomly out of order.
The changes suggest that while Instagram might be listening to feedback, it either does not know how to implement them or doesn’t care enough to do it properly. The New Posts button was not necessary if the app was designed to refresh itself without yanking the user out of whatever they were doing every time. This is exactly how Twitter works. The non-committal not-really chronological timeline is also nonsense; it’s either chronological or it isn’t, and this clearly still isn’t so it’s not really what people have been asking for. Algorithmic timelines increase user engagement by wasting their time and also strongly favor brand accounts, so it’s clear why Instagram isn’t ready to give that up.
Instagram has promised more changes in the coming months but going by the company’s track record there is zero chance of any of them being in the user’s interest.