Still, the move appears to dial back, even if only slightly, the major change that came in March 2016 when Instagram said feeds would be “ordered to show the moments we believe you will care about the most.”
Instagram is one of several social media companies that are striving to find the right balance between arranging content chronologically and ranking it according to machine-learned impressions of relevance.
Twitter’s feed is largely chronological — though it is has been known to experiment with ranking, sometimes irritating users — while Facebook, which owns Instagram, relies more heavily on algorithms, meaning well-liked content and posts from good friends tend to show up front and center.
“Instagram’s feed ranking is powered by machine learning, which is constantly adapting and improving based on new data,” Mr. Madway said. “But this is a nice change that people should notice.”
Pew Research Center reported this month that Instagram use is higher than that of Twitter, Snapchat and WhatsApp, at least in terms of the percentage of Americans who say they use it. (By that measure, only Facebook and YouTube are more popular.)
Last year the company said it had 800 million users interacting with the app on at least a monthly basis.