Instagram is testing vertical Stories that work a lot like TikTok

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After confirming that vertical scrolling for Stories was in development back in 2021, Instagram is starting to test the feature in select countries.

Instagram Stories is the company’s take on tapping through short stories that can last up to ten seconds, both in a photo or a video. You can add in a GIF, tag someone, add filters, and more to update your followers on what you’re doing at that moment in time.

But when you decide to go to the next or previous story, you have to tap on the left or right in certain areas of the story in order to do these actions. This could be problematic as some tags placed in a story may overlap, so you may skip a story when you wanted to tap on the tagged person or place in question.

Navigating through your Stories by swiping will alleviate this, and while there’s a good chance that its similarity to TikTok will be mentioned, it’s a much better method for everyone, especially if you primarily use Stories on Instagram.


Analysis: This will matter to heavy Stories users

While recent updates, such as the ability to post from a web browser or switching to a dark mode theme have been well-received, vertical scrolling will mean a great deal more to other users.

The company has been rolling out features to better rival TikTok in video content, such as Reels and the ability to add web links to a Story.

However, since Instagram confirmed that vertical scrolling was under development, users had been waiting to see if it would be implemented. One year on, we get confirmation that it’s at least being tested in countries such as Turkey.

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As smartphones get bigger or, foldable, having to tap on the left side of the screen to go back to a story is going to be more frustrating for users.

Swiping up or down to navigate your Stories is a much more appealing method. It’s TikTok’s main way of browsing videos in its app, and it would be a welcome change to Instagram Stories.

With a chronological feed due out soon, swiping in a Story could be the next big feature for 2022.

Daryl Baxter
Software & Downloads Writer

Daryl had been freelancing for 3 years before joining TechRadar, now reporting on everything software-related. In his spare time he's written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider', alongside podcasting and usually found playing games old and new on his PC and MacBook Pro. If you have a story about an updated app, one that's about to launch, or just anything Software-related, drop him a line.