With a new kid on the scene, Instagram has been frantically trying to add new features in order to compete with its biggest competitor, TikTok. Instagram has seen a decline in engagement on their platform since TikTok came onto the scene. While people were stuck at home during the lockdowns this year, TikTok gained more than 200 million users in the United States alone. It is likely that part of the reason it gained so much traction this year was because of the ease and simplicity of scrolling through short and entertaining videos on the For You Page (FYP). Now that Instagram has to compete with TikTok, they are updating their stories feature with a vertical view.
Reels, on Instagram, is another feature that allows Instagram users to share videos. Reels feature shorter clip-like videos, unlike IGTV, which can hold a longer length vlog. Instagram’s third video sharing feature is Stories. This is where you can share short videos and pictures to your Instagram story where it lasts only for 24 hours. Followers can view your story in the Story feed at the top of their Instagram post feed or on their profile when their profile image is highlighted in a dark pink magenta-like color. The only other way to show your stories is through the highlights option where they can show as snippets of your memories on your Instagram profile.
It is unclear exactly where this new vertical feed for Stories will be located on the app. However, Instagram is hoping to take some of the users’ screentime back from TikTok by adding this similar concept. As of now, we are unsure when this update will be live, but it’s expected to get much better engagement levels based on the engagement levels on TikTok’s very similar feed.
Instagram claims that the new feature is something that they aren’t yet testing. “This is an early prototype and is not currently testing on Instagram,” a company spokesperson was quoted as saying. Be on the lookout for possible updates like this in the future.