Instagram’s much-loved chronological timeline won’t be making a return anytime soon.
Rumors began swirling earlier this week that the Facebook-owned app was testing a chronological feed among a select group of users.
But now, the firm has flat out denied that it’s planning to bring back the feature.
‘No, Instagram is not testing a chronological feed,’ an Instagram spokesperson told Fast Company.
‘This meme kicked up somewhere and we’ve been trying to set the record straight,’ the spokesperson added.
The speculation began after a post was shared by a photographer claiming to be an Instagram employee on the platform.
Instagram user @jackharding shared a video of his timeline, showing posts in chronological order.
A caption alongside the video said: ‘Instagram back to chronological order. I wonder if this is good or bad news.’
In a follow-up post, the Instagram user said he is an employee of the social media platform — a comment that was later revealed to be a joke in a statement to Mashable.
Still, Harding’s post generated further speculation that the feed layout was set to change.
FStoppers reported that the layout of the Instagram homepage has changed gradually over time.
It was believed that Instagram may be tweaking its algorithm to put greater weight on when a post is shared.
As Mashable pointed out, Instagram’s algorithm does already factor in recency to an extent.
When users open the app, they may see a few posts show up in chronological order, interspersed with popular posts.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean Instagram is tweaking its algorithm.
In 2016, Instagram introduced an algorithm-based timeline to replace chronological posts.
And users weren’t happy. The move spurred a petition for its reversal, and the hashtag #RIPInstagram trended.
When Instagram announced it would abandon its timeline approach, it said: ‘People miss on average 70 percent of their feeds.’
To avoid this, the app implemented a new approach that would change the order based on a persons relationships and interests.
‘The order of photos and videos in your feed will be based on the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post.’
Public opinion turned against the picture-sharing app as users demanded the company reverse the change.
In just days following the announcement, a petition titled Keep Instagram Chronological was born, and it gathered 158,298 supporters in 72 hours.
As users have grown increasingly frustrated with apps like Instagram and Snapchat, they’ve also considered turning to alternative social media platforms such as Ello and Vero, which promise to put the user experience first above algorithms.