The TikTok way of doing things seems to be trickling down across social media apps, including Twitter and Instagram. The latest feature that Meta-owned Instagram is testing is a TikTok-style virtual scroll for Stories on the platform and this is currently being tested in Turkey and Brazil. This new feature puts Instagram in line with how Reels works as well.
Currently, the Stories on Instagram are visible right on top of the main page and can be scrolled through horizontally. The platform had announced in February last year that it was working on vertically-scrolling stories and it has finally started testing them.
The vertical scroll will allow users to go from one user’s story to the next unlike the horizontal scroll that takes users through the subsequent stories of the same user.
Since Instagram is currently testing this feature, it is not exactly known when it will roll out more widely or if at all. It is possible that Instagram might decide against rolling this feature out after the testing phase.
Instagram has been rolling out many updates recently like the option to post content from a web browser, switching to a dark mode theme, etc., and they have been well-received by the user community. However, vertical scrolling will mean something else for users on the platform.
Like TikTok, Instagram has already added features like Reels and the option to add web links to the Story, and vertical scrolling might be the latest.
From a user-case point of view, with many users possessing smartphones with big screens, it is easier to scroll through a feed vertically instead of horizontally. Thus, an option like this one, where users can swipe up and down to navigate through user’s stories makes the platform easier to use.