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Instagram is about to steal TikTok’s vibe with a vertical feed for Stories

Is nothing original in social media anymore?

instagram logo on blurred background
Image: KnowTechie

If you’re feeling like all the social media apps look the same these days, there’s a good reason for that. They all seem to be copying each other’s homework, with popular features from competitors turning up everywhere. The latest craze is TikTok, so it was only a matter of time before the vertical feed of short-form videos turned up in another app, this time in Instagram.

Developer Alessandro Paluzzi found code inside the Instagram app that shows “Vertical Stories,” letting Instagram users swipe up and down instead of having to tap or swipe horizontally (incidentally, a feature borrowed from Snapchat). The code is not live, but Instagram did confirm that the “early prototype” is in development to TechCrunch.

https://twitter.com/alex193a/status/1356574935024599040?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1356574935024599040%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theverge.com%2F2021%2F2%2F3%2F22264891%2Finstagram-stories-vertical-feed-tiktok-style

Will Instagram turn into vertical feeds for both static and video content? That’s certainly the easiest way to navigate on our mobile devices, with the up and down scroll being one of the simplest motions for our thumbs to do. Could we even see Instagram tweak their algorithm to prioritize video content, further making short-form video the method of expression for most social networks?

Whatever Instagram ends up deciding, the app is sorely in need of an UI overhaul. Do you understand the difference between the four different places that Instagram users can post video? I sure don’t, when my Feed is no longer only static images, Stories and Reels fight for my attention, and I still don’t know what the IGTV icon is meant to do. Changing all of the navigation to vertical feeds would be a good step in the right direction to unclutter my Insta feeds.

Have any thoughts on this? Surprised that Instagram is taking another page from TikTok’s playbook? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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