There's a new version of Instagram, and it's more like TikTok

Loading player Since the beginning of May, Instagram has started experimenting with some changes to the graphics of its main feed (the one that usually shows the contents of the profiles you follow) by introducing photographs and videos in full screen, with a design reminiscent of that of TikTok. The new feed is for now visible to a limited number of users on whom Instagram is carrying out some tests, and it is not yet clear if it will become the new version of the application. Much will depend on the evaluations of the users involved and on any drops or increases in the interaction time with the app.

The experimentation, which concerns some subscribers all over the world including Italy, had been confirmed by the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, in a video published on 3 May last to illustrate the news. Mosseri had described the change by explaining that he wanted to “bring videos to the fore and to the center” of the social network.

The new graphics eliminates the display of photographs in the classic square format, showing them instead in full screen and keeping the buttons and navigation menus at the top and bottom to reach the various sections of Instagram. The captions and descriptions are much less evident and partially cover the images, and the system by which the photos in the galleries are scrolled horizontally has changed. The way in which you scroll down is also very different, no longer continuous but from content to content, as already happens on TikTok.

📣 Testing Feed Changes 📣

We're testing a new, immersive viewing experience in the main Home feed.

If you're in the test, check it out and let me know what you think. 👇🏼 pic.twitter.com/dmM5RzpicQ

– Adam Mosseri (@mosseri) May 3, 2022

Some users who are part of the test shared their first impressions, pointing out how the system of operation of the new feed remembers very much that of the “Reel” section, the videos shown in full screen and one after the other, which were already a obvious attempt to imitate TikTok. The new version of the Instagram feed also has elements of the “Search and explore” one, where the algorithms of the social network show content from profiles that you do not follow, but which could approach your tastes based on the profiles followed and the “I like “previously placed.

A screenshot shared by Instagram shows what the new experimental version looks like, although some elements are missing such as the circles of the Stories at the top. A spokesperson for the social network told The Verge that their location hasn't changed and that the image shows what the feed looks like after you've already started scrolling. Instagram has also confirmed that photographs will be included in the full screen view.

Instagram, which with 2 billion monthly users is among the largest social networks in the world, has been working for some time on the introduction of new features to counter the rapid rise of TikTok, a social network that according to analysts has now exceeded 1.5 billion of monthly users. The changes introduced so far had concerned precisely the videos and the possibility of creating short-term ones, with a continuous display mode similar to that used by TikTok.

The new graphics could help increase video views, offering new opportunities for placing advertisements within the feed, which until now was less exploited than other sections of Instagram for these purposes. The change, however, would be an important change and could remove some of the most historical users, accustomed to a more marked separation between photographs, videos and Stories.

In his message Mosseri did not provide details on the duration of the experiment, nor on the number of users who may be affected by the changes to the graphics. In the meantime, Instagram has begun to introduce some small changes, related for example to the graphics of the buttons to follow other profiles or to start a chat.