Instagram is testing a vertically-scrolling Stories feed, similar to TikTok

Instagram is now testing a vertically-scrollable Stories feed similar to TikTok, which already offers vertical scrolling in its popular video app.

Promotional image showing the words Instagram Stories in white, capitalized, on top of a colorful background
  • A new Instagram test allows some users to swipe through stories vertically
  • This is another way the Meta-owned service is competing with TikTok
  • Instagram is transforming itself into a fullscreen, video-first app

How about a vertical Instagram Stories feed?

The new Instagram test was spotted by social media consultant Matt Navarra on Twitter.

At the time of writing, several users in Turkey reported being included in the test and having access to this feature. As reported by 9to5Mac, Brazilian technology journalist Thássius Veloso is also among those included in the test for vertical Instagram Stories. This could suggest that Instagram may release this feature once ready on a wider basis. The company may also shut down the project if it receives enough negative feedback.

Instagram’s TikTok competitor, Reels, already uses a vertically-scrolling design.

Instagram started laying the groundwork for this feature around February 2021, when developer Alessandro Paluzzi shared a screenshot on Twitter suggesting that assets for a vertical Stories feed were already included in the app’s code.

The photo-sharing service has been refocusing the Stories feature on video content ever since its head Adam Mosseri proclaimed in July 2021 that Instagram would adopt fullscreen, mobile-first content in response to competition from TikTok and YouTube.

How to enable vertical Instagram Stories feed

It’s unclear when vertical Instagram Stories design might roll out to more users and countries. Watch this space as we’ll be making sure to keep you in the loop.

A TikTok-style vertical feed is another way the Meta-owned service is attempting to compete with the popularity of TikTok, which has offered vertical scrolling in its app since its inception. Read: How to post longer videos on Instagram Stories

Instagram is also testing other features it thinks will help it gain traction with pre-teens who predominantly used Snapchat and TikTok (the Instagram Kids project, as you know, was shelved following the Facebook whistleblower revelations).

For instance, some Instagram users are seeing a chronological feed option along with new feed-sorting features, which is another test the company has been running recently. In another one, Instagram is experimenting with longer videos up to 60 seconds, and beyond, following similar tests by TikTok and Snapchat.