Instagram is tweaking the algorithm everyone hated and letting users view posts the way they used to once again

Showpo (L) founder Jane Lu taking photos for Instagram during a photoshoot at the Sydney Showpo office. Sarah Kimmorley/ Business Insider Australia
  • Instagram is making another change to its algorithm in a direct response to backlash from users.
  • The app is getting a “new posts” button that lets users refresh their feeds manually rather than automatically. Moreover, new posts will be prioritised by how recent they are.
  • “Based on your feedback,” a post from Instagram on Thursday said, “we’re also making changes to ensure that newer posts are more likely to appear first in feed.”

Instagram is moving to address a major user complaint about its timeline.

Before June 2016, Facebook-owned Instagram displayed posts based on when they were posted – in reverse-chronological order, newest first. The change to Instagram’s algorithm meant you’d sometimes see days-old posts at the top of your feed.

Users didn’t love it. Creators didn’t love it. And now Instagram is responding.

“We’ve heard it can feel unexpected when your feed refreshes and automatically bumps you to the top,” a post on Instagram’s blog says. As a result, Instagram is introducing a “new posts” button that allows you to refresh your feed manually as you wish.

The button isn’t in the app just yet, and the post calls it a “test” rather than a permanent feature.

Moreover, Instagram says it will once again prioritise recentness over various other metrics.

“Based on your feedback, we’re also making changes to ensure that newer posts are more likely to appear first in feed,” the post said.

When Instagram announced the change to its algorithm to prioritise stuff like shares, likes, your relationship with the poster, and other metrics, users complained that it was often hard to see what friends were posting on an ongoing basis.

And worse, you’d sometimes lose track of stuff you wanted to see when the app automatically refreshed your feed with a new smattering of seemingly random stuff.

It’s not clear exactly when these changes are coming to the app, but it sounds as if they’re rolling out soon.