Dreading Instagram's New Timeline? Enabling Post Notifications May Not Help

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Earlier this month, the popular photo-sharing app Instagram announced it's planning to do away with its chronological timeline in favor of a Facebook-style feed based on an algorithm. Fearful that their photos will end up being hidden (or at least hard to find) from those who want to see them, some users are now imploring their followers to turn on push notifications to make sure they never miss a post. But as reported by The Independent, Instagrammers who do this may be wasting their time. 

Contrary to what many posters claim, this new change isn't happening overnight. Instead, Instagram will be rolling it out gradually over the next few months, experimenting with certain pictures and accounts before applying the algorithm to everyone. 

And once the updated feed is implemented across the board, that doesn't necessarily mean users will miss out on posts. While timelines will be rearranged according to relationships and engagement history, low-priority pictures—as determined by your likes and comments—will still be included, albeit lower down on the feed. If anything, the new algorithm will make it easier to keep up with your favorite accounts—especially if you're someone who doesn't check the app obsessively. 

Activating notifications for specific users is easy enough: Simply click the ellipses at the top of their profile and select "turn on post notifications." Just bear in mind that the feeling of staying completely up-to-date may not be worth having your phone vibrate in your pocket every other minute. And if you decide to receive post notifications on every account you follow, chances are your inbox will become overwhelming, and you'll miss photos all the same. 

Twitter announced a similar change to their timeline back in February, and users were quick to overreact in that case as well. The hashtag #RIPTwitter quickly rose to the top of the trending list, but after several weeks the (optional) algorithm has yet to tank the social media giant. Most of the specifics of Instagram's new feature haven't been revealed, but the company says they plan to release more details ahead of making any universal changes.

[h/t The Independent]