Instagram retiring traditional ‘Stories’ and replacing the same with ‘Vertical Stories’ ‘to take on TikTok’

Instagram Stories
‘Stories’ undergoing major changes. Pic credit: Webster2703/Pixabay

Instagram appears to be gradually evolving the traditional Stories feature. The image-based social media platform halted the ability to reshare feed posts to ‘Stories’. Additionally, reports indicate Instagram is readying ‘Vertical Stories’.

Instagram has been slowly removing the option to share posts from the Feed to Stories for some users. Meanwhile, it is also changing the scrolling direction for Stories from horizontal to vertical.

Instagram users ‘tired’ of looking at duplicate content from Feed, in Stories:

Quite a few Instagram users have been receiving notifications about the change. Instagram has essentially disabled the option to re-share a photo or video from the regular feed to stories.

Instagram has indicated that it received numerous requests. The platform claims that some people don’t like to see the same content from the Feed being shared in Stories.

Instagram clearly agrees with the suggestions as it has obviously created each feature for a different purpose. Hence, the social media platform is taking steps to prevent duplication of content.

Incidentally, only a few users are part of the experiment. A banner appears at the top of the app with the following message for users who have been chosen to take part in this test:

“We hear from our community that they want to see fewer posts in Stories. During this test, you won’t be able to add a feed post to your Story.”

Instagram has reportedly indicated that the test is being conducted “within a few selected regions.” Strangely, the platform also noted that “there is no plan to roll this change out more broadly at this stage.”

As strange as it may sound, it is quite likely that the Instagram Stories feature might just retire. Instagram is currently battling platforms like TikTok, and the Stories feature, at least in the current form, might just be a casualty.

Is Instagram’s ‘Vertical Stories’ inspired by TikTok?

Instagram appears to be testing vertical scrolling of Stories. Currently, users browse Stories through taps and horizontal swipes.

However, Instagram users could soon see ‘Vertical Instagram Stories’. While the horizontal scroll was reminiscent of Snapchat, the vertical scroll reminds of TikTok.

Needless to add, vertical scrolling is far more natural and intuitive than taps and horizontal swipes, especially on a smartphone. Almost the entire mobile web, including Facebook’s News Feed or YouTube’s home page, have vertical scrolling.

Besides turning Instagram Stories into a vertical feed, the platform could be looking at focusing more on multimedia content. Currently, Instagram has become a hub of static photos that users reshare as Stories.

Instagram could, potentially, prioritize video posts over images to better compete with TikTok using “Vertical Stories” feed. The feature appears to under development.

The person who spotted the feature shared the same on Twitter. The screenshot shows a simple user interface with text that reads: “Now you can swipe up and down to browse stories”. There’s a big, blue button below labeled “Vertical Stories.”

Instagram has reportedly confirmed its testing the feature. The platform, however, added that the feature is not available to any general user. “This is an early prototype and is not currently testing on Instagram,” confirmed a company spokesperson.

Incidentally, Instagram already has a TikTok rival called “Reels”. It sits right at the top, and when clicked, takes users to a new interface where they can vertically swipe through videos.

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