Facebook has finally ruined Instagram. Everyone should've seen this coming when Facebook bought Instagram in 2012 and earlier when Facebook, apparently still used as a form of passive communication between people, first introduced the non-chronological timeline. Users' news feeds were then determined by how popular posts in their respective feeds were. Intent on expanding its base and becoming easier to navigate for new users Twitter started taking after Facebook. It too initiated the first step in abandoning the chronological timeline for an algorithm-based one last month. Not ones to be left behind, Instagram is moving to switch to an out of order feed as well.
Twitter first eased users into the idea of an out of order timeline by introducing the "While you were away" feature which brings up old, popular tweets to the top of your timeline if you’ve been away from the app for a couple of hours. The idea is to show you tweets you would have otherwise missed. Because you need to know about your co-worker getting their name misspelled at Starbucks, yet again. Before that Twitter killed the "favorite" button for a Facebook friendly "Like" button with a heart.
Instagram recently got some complaints when it decided to add a view count to its videos (replacing its number of likes), giving users something else to feel self-conscious about. The app will face some hate once again should it implement a non-chronological timeline as the New York Times reports.
Instagram wants its reported 400 million regular visitors to not miss out on something major that may have happened while they were sleeping, like maybe a Kim Kardashian nude selfie.
Instagram co-founder and chief executive Kevin Systrom told the NYT: "On average, people miss about 70 percent of the posts in their Instagram feed." Systrom added, "What this is about is making sure that the 30 percent you see is the best 30 percent possible."
Yes, 70 percent is a lot, and only grows larger with the more people you follow on Instagram, but if people really want to see all the 'grams they've missed since they were last on they'll scroll back 7 hours to catch up. It's called dedication. The out of order timeline will virtually make FOMO (fear of missing out) inescapable.
The NYT reports Instagram will test the algorithmic timeline with a small percentage of users before deciding if it’s going to be a widespread change. Instagram will determine how photos in users feeds will appear based on how much its believed the user wants to see posts from particular accounts and what the "relationship" as the NYT writes, is between two users.
As for me, I'll be mourning Instagram until it decides its pissed off too many people and forgets the algorithmic timeline.