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Instagram is working on a TikTok-style vertical feed for Stories

Instagram is working on a TikTok-style vertical feed for Stories


The company’s TikTok competitor, Reels, already uses the concept

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Instagram might try to emulate another element of TikTok’s design with a new vertical feed for Stories, TechCrunch reports. Navigating with vertical swipes up and down would make stories behave more like Reels, the shortform video feature the company added to better compete with TikTok.

The vertical stories feed is not currently being tested, Instagram confirmed to TechCrunch, but code for the change is already in development based on this screenshot developer Alessandro Paluzzi shared. It’s not much to go on, but it does show Instagram is at least considering the adjustment to its ever-expanding features.

Mimicking Reels (which, in turn, was heavily “inspired” by TikTok) would unify Instagram’s various feeds in some sense. If Stories became a vertical experience, it would not only match Reels, but also the app’s original feature: scrolling the feed. IGTV would still function a bit differently, though; those videos are buried in a vertical grid in profiles but feature horizontal navigation once you start watching.

In an interview with Instagram head Adam Mosseri for the Decoder podcast, he said 2020 was about “placing a bunch of bets,” while 2021 would be about “delivering on those commitments and simplifying the experience.” The company is already testing changes to what kind of content can be added to stories, and changing how those stories are displayed could be the next step in that simplification process.