Social Media

Instagram Testing Several New Features for Stories & Reels – Discover & Following Tabs


March 25, 2021 (Updated: December 22, 2022)

According to Hootsuite, Instagram users spent an average of 30 minutes per day on the platform in 2020. Interestingly enough, Tiktok averaged 21 minutes per day from October 2019-March 2020. Though Instagram still has a longer on-screen time, TikTok is new and growing quickly in this stay-at-home climate we have all found ourselves in. With this in mind, Instagram is updating two of its short-form video platforms: Reels and Stories. 

Reels Updates 

Though Instagram’s “reels” is a relatively new feature to the app, it has gained traction rather quickly for its vertical feed of short-form videos. This addition to the app provides users with a new way to create and discover short video creators on Instagram. It was added to the app at the same time as TikTok was banned from Asian countries so it quickly became the newer version of TikTok for those popular creators. In addition, those creators have seen an impact on their following due to this convenient timing. 

Since Reels has gained so much popularity in such a quick time, Instagram is working on two new updates for this portion of the app. The first update will involve the addition of two new pages inside the apps feature: 

  • Discover Feed – Where you will be shown videos from new creators that show similar content to those you already follow. 
  • Following Feed – Where the creators you already follow can display their videos. 

In addition to these new feeds, Reels will also start allowing you to get notifications when your favorite creators post a new video. This will be similar to the post notifications you can allow for the same creators in your feed or in your Stories feed. 

Stories Updates

The Stories feature, which allows you to share your own or other users’ posts on a 24-hour long feed, will have additions as well. The main addition will be the Stories archive. 

Yes, you might be thinking that your Stories already save within the archive option that allows posts and stories but there is coding within the app that now points to the creation of two separate archives. 

Though no one is quite sure when these updates will go live, they are definitely in the works. 

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March 25, 2021 (Updated: December 22, 2022)

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