Since Instagram’s algorithmic, out-of-order timeline is a mystery to all humankind, the company has rolled out a new feature that will let you know when you’ve scrolled through all new posts from the last 48 hours. When you come across it, you’ll see a big green checkmark and a message saying “you’re all caught up.” Beyond the line break will be posts that have been up for longer than two days mixed with more recent ones you’ve already seen and scrolled past.
Older posts might still technically be new to you depending on your Instagram habits, but 48 hours seems like a reasonable marker. TechCrunch previously reported that this convenient feature — and small semblance of order for Instagram’s confounding feed — was on the way. You should start seeing it today on both Android and iOS.
The feed still makes no sense, but at least you’ll know what’s new
Facebook and Instagram are working on other tools for showing users how much time they’ve recently spent in the apps. It’s expected that they will soon add screens similar in purpose to Apple’s Screen Time (coming in iOS 12) and Google’s Dashboard (coming in Android P) that break down your usage patterns and detail how frequently you’re opening either app. For today’s biggest tech companies and platforms, 2018 is all about helping consumers strike a better balance between gadgets / apps and other aspects of life.
Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom has said that the company is developing “tools that will help the Instagram community know more about the time they spent on Instagram,“ adding that “any time should be positive and intentional.”
But inside the app, some attention-grabbing annoyances remain. You still can’t get rid of those bright IGTV notifications, for example. And as The Verge reported on Friday, it looks like Instagram is also trying to keep Stories in front of you at all times whenever you do have the app open.