2021- The Year the Chronological feed returned.

The Chronological feed has finally made its comeback. The "TapeFeed" has revived the long-lost staple of social media folklore.

2021- The Year the Chronological feed returned.
Photo by Andrik Langfield / Unsplash

Five years ago we witnessed the swift death of a fair and beloved mainstay of our social media ecosphere-The Chronological feed.

We posted our photos, videos and shared moments in a way that was logical, rewarding, and seamless.  

So surely it must have “passed on” only to be replaced by something even better?

Something even more connective, something that would increase our engagement and help us communicate with our friends and family more efficiently?



What took its place was a confusing, mismatched algorithm, where adverts became rampant as Instagram and other social media platforms pushed heavily for paid posts alongside this feed designed to optimize for engagement and time spent.

So if it’s a bad user experience, there must be a good reason for this?

Well at the time, Instagram’s news feed product-lead, Julian Gutman told journalists:

“The reason we made the change is that users tend to spend more time in the app when they’re presented with an algorithmic rather than a reverse chronological feed.”

An obvious cash-grab by Instagram.

The more time you spend on the app, the more adverts you’ll be exposed to.

Four years on, (and a barrage of heat-seekingly-accurate targeted ads later), our Chronological dreams may now be answered...

Enter TapeReal.

TapeReal is the anti-thesis of traditional social media. What they have, we don't, and that's what makes TapeReal different and unique.

For example:

  • They have targeted ads, TapeReal has no ads.
  • They have algorithms, TapeReal has no algorithms.
  • They mine your personal data, TapeReal has privacy.

The main purpose of TapeReal is to bring “social” back to social media.

Creating a place where people’s voices are heard (and quite literally too).

TapeReal’s simplistic approach to the “Newsfeed” came in the form of the “Tapefeed,” a timeline where everyone’s content reaches the front page of the website, for the whole world to see.

This in itself, is a fair, ethical approach compared to Instagram’s “pay to display” system, which pushes users to promote their posts by entering their credit card details and entering a list of promotional criteria.

TapeReal’s "Tapefeed" is a return to the old school, a return to the nostalgic times where organic growth was a real and tangible thing that could be achieved by posting content that others resonated with.

Reaching new audiences was a whole lot easier back in 2015, be it, posting photos of your artworks, your poetry, sharing photos of your body transformation or what you cooked for dinner last night.

Over time it seems like we’ve grown bored of the same old controversies, unfair business practices and counter intuitive privacy updates.

Looking forward to the coming decade, it looks to be a time of great reform for social media, and it certainly poses a serious opportunity for new “people-orientated” platforms and services to step in and offer a more ethical alternative to the social media giants who have lost their way.

So, now that the chronological feed has returned, the real question is:

What other beloved features would you like to see return?