Facebook-owned Instagram has always been head-to-head with viral short-form videos platform called TikTok. But now the trendiest social media platform is planning to turn the competition even fiercer by redesigning stories format with vertical scrolling.
Farewell to horizontal stories feed?
By incorporating a vertical scrolling option to view and interact with stories, Instagram is striving for a more TikTok-ish feel. The rumours first surfaced when student and developer Alessandro Paluzzi shared on Twitter a pop-up that he encountered on IG asking him to switch to vertical scrolling as part of a new design roll-out. The developer quickly found out the feature appear in the very code of Instagram.
A company spokesperson later confirmed the rumour to TechCrunch saying that Paluzzi encountered the prototype which is currently under development on Instagram. This means that the TikTok competitor is definitely working on a similar feature but there is no guarantee that it might be added to the main app in future.
In a bid to compete and outperform its rival TikTok, Instagram already released its own short-form video function called “Reels” last year. Like TikTok videos, Reels include camera effects and audio chosen from an extensive library owned by Instagram and Instagram content creators.
Instagram’s underdevelopment features
Instagram is always tweaking its algorithm and basic features to change the overall design and make the Reels feature its centre of attention because it is such a popular feature among indie creators, influencers, and small business owners connected with Instagram. There is no denying that Reels are expected to be one of the most-used features of the IG platform this year.
But if the vertical scrolling feature for stories gets passed and becomes public soon then it would definitely strengthen the position of Instagram in terms of all-over platform usage convenience and thus popularity.
What to expect from vertical scrolling?
The reason why adding the option for vertical scrolling is such a big deal for a platform like Instagram is that it is convenient for content consumption. The ability to swipe vertically feels more natural to people nowadays as compared to the normal horizontal movements.
A majority of the mobile applications have already sided with vertical scrolling such as browsing the internet and even Facebook scrolling itself gives users relief from horizontal flicks making the entire interaction a lot more effortless.
At this point, if Instagram were to launch vertical scrolling then it could possibly transform the entire app’s usage because it would be a notable change in the design. It could also shift the attention of Instagram users from static type content and interact better with their social media feed.
For those who do not know, static content means photos and reshared posts that usually take up most of the space on the stories section these days. But rolling out vertical scrolling would help Instagram’s algorithm to prioritize video posts over images so that it can get shoulder-to-shoulder with none other than TikTok.