A Full-Screen Stories Display on Instagram?
As stories usage keeps increasing, Instagram may switch to a story feed only
Instagram stories have been the main focus of Instagram in the past few years. While the post feed hasn’t received many updates recently, the stories keep getting new filters, new features, and new designs to make these ephemeral pieces of content more engaging.
Nowadays, 1.7 billion accounts use the story format daily, and 500 million users now use Instagram stories every day. The constant new features and the massive increase in popularity of this format can make us wonder if Instagram is not going to shift entirely to a story feed social media app.
And they might. Instagram has been testing the double-story display since May, where users would see two rows of stories at the top of their screen. The double-story display puts a clear emphasis on the Instagram stories content rather than on the post feed as the stories now take double the screen real estate than before.
More recently, Instagram has been testing a full-screen stories display with a small number of users. Below the double-story display, some users saw a prompt appear: See all stories. When clicked, the double-story display expands into a full-screen menu displaying all the stories available to watch.
This new feature has questionable ergonomics. It seems more natural to click on the first Instagram story displayed then go through several other stories with a tap on the right of the screen. The first Instagram story showed at the top of the screen is already supposed to be a story that the user is likely to watch, as the stories’ order depends on previous watch time and prior interactions. So it seems more likely, as a user, to click on the first story displayed, than having to browse to the end of the available stories. Clicking on the first story, then watching a few stories by taping on the right of the screen is a watching experience that’s quite close to TikTok, which usage also keeps increasing.
This new full-screen stories display then seems strange at first. Why would you want to browse towards the end of the list to watch a story that you never watch?
I think what’s interesting, though, is that with such a way to display stories, the post feed becomes entirely invisible. This may show Instagram’s strategy to switch entirely from a post feed platform to a story only app. Because of the impressive increase in popularity of TikTok, it’s quite understandable that Instagram wants to transition to a similar interface, with somewhat similar vertical video content.
The massive priority Instagram is giving to stories, combined with the massive decrease of Instagram posts’ organic reach, will push more and more brands and creators to shift their effort entirely to stories. If Instagram pushes this new full-screen stories display, we can probably expect close to zero traffic on the regular post feed, because of the lack of new content, and the lower accessibility of this section of the app.
While it is unclear if this full-screen stories display will be pushed to all users or not, we can probably expect a similar feature soon on Instagram. Now is the time to start creating more content for stories; the post feed might not be the way to go in the next few years.
Do you feel like you tried everything to grow on Instagram? Hopefully, what follows will be the last thing you will have to do to reach your goals.
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