Social media feeds are no longer set to chronological order as the default. Whether you’re doomscrolling through Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, the sequence of the posts is shuffled up by an algorithm into a unique (and sometimes confusing) experience. It doesn’t have to be this way.
A few of the biggest social media platforms now include a feature handing some power over the algorithm back to users, with caveats. Don’t expect the changes to be permanent; you’ll usually need to repeat these steps each time you’re on the social media platform to see posts in order. You should still expect to see ads interspersed among the posts. Also, maybe the sequence of content isn’t what’s leaving you dissatisfied, and it’s time for a clean slate? If that’s the case, check out WIRED’s guide to deleting your social media accounts.
Instagram was previously known as the platform for pictures of your dinner and aesthetic vacation photos. Although the app now pushes short video content, users hoping to scroll through their main feed without interference from the algorithm may be in luck. Here’s how to make your Instagram feed chronological on the mobile app. All you have to do is click the Instagram logo at the top left of the screen and choose Following from the dropdown menu. The change is not permanent and may need to be repeated when the app is reopened.
A trailblazer when it comes to shuffling social media posts into a perplexing feed, Facebook does allow users to switch up the setting and have the timeline appear chronologically ranked. If you’re using Facebook on a computer, start at your home screen and locate the tabs on the left of the screen. Click See morescroll a little, and tap on Most Recent to adjust your timeline. Change your mind? You can select the Back to top posts button that appears above the Facebook status prompt.
For the Facebook mobile app, click the Menu on the bottom right corner, and then choose Feeds. This option shows every post in order. Toggle over to Favorites, Friends, Groups, or Pages to see sequential content from those categories. Check out this article by Brian Barrett for even more details about using Facebook’s chronological feed.
Originally conceived as a form of microblogging, Twitter is now a wide-ranging social media platform. On Twitter, users encounter everything from artists showcasing professional portfolios so brands posting NSFW memes for attention. See all the weird, funny, and frustrating posts in the order they were tweeted by tapping on the sparkle icon at the very top right corner of the screen. Twitter refers to its algorithmic feed as “Home Tweets,” and you can turn it off by clicking on Switch to latest Tweets.
The For You page on TikTok is driven by an algorithm that dynamically responds to in-app actions. Although it makes sense for TikTok not to have a chronological version of the FYP, users who bounce over the Following tab in hopes of seeing posts from their favorite creators in chronological order will be disappointed. The closest you can get to sequentially watching videos on TikTok is by directly visiting someone’s profile page. Here the videos are listed by posting order with the newest ones at the top, under any pinned posts.
It may not be the first social media platform to come to mind when seeking out sequential posts, but YouTube makes it quite easy to see the latest videos from your subscribed channels. All you need to do is visit the Subscriptions section on your smart TV or in the mobile app. Using the Subscriptions tab is a great way to stay caught up with channels that frequently upload new videos.