The Instagram platform announced that it is starting to test a new version of its feed in full screen mode, similar to Tik Tok, which aims to improve the way images appear in this new format.
The company said it is also using this experience to try out changes to the navigation bar at the bottom of the Instagram app, where it will soon add shortcuts to creating a post and accessing messages.
In 2020, Instagram changed the location of the compose button when it gave the main location in the center of the navigation bar to Reels. While I put the compose button in the top right corner of the app.
The selection may have benefited Instagram by directing users to Reels. But this may have discouraged users from creating a quick post.
The fact that the platform is now testing bringing the button back to the navigation bar indicates that it is seeing a decrease in new content creation, as more people are shifting their time and energy to TikTok.
For the full-screen feed, Instagram started a similar experiment in May. But it was soon met with user complaints and negative feedback.
In addition to hiding comments, the updated layout displayed all content in a 16:9 aspect ratio, including classic square images and landscape images.
And for those photos that don’t fit into the feed correctly, Instagram has applied blurred gradient borders to make them blend in.
But many users were not impressed with this change. They explained why in their responses to Adam Mosseri’s posts about the update.
Another issue with the previous test was that there was white space between posts in the feed.
This made the feed look like a cross between the full screen TikTok feed and the traditional card-style feed where posts are separated. Users also said that the new format made the feed look more cluttered as a result.
Instagram makes changes to photos and navigation
Instagram has clarified that the new full screen feed test that is being rolled out will no longer display white space at the top and bottom of posts when watching 9:16 videos.
However, the new feed holds some hope for content creators. The platform said it begins recommending their content to users who do not follow them. Similar to how TikTok posts content you think you might like on the For You page.
It can be beneficial for creators and advertisers to have different apps unify a single format, as this allows content to be reused more easily across platforms.
The changes were announced via Instagram by the CEO of Meta. Zuckerberg expressed that photos are still an important part of the platform.
This comment is intended to address the reaction of those who use the platform primarily for photography, who now believe it no longer appreciates contributions amid its attempt to clone TikTok and move users to video.
Zuckerberg’s post also mentioned that Instagram has been developing ways to improve the way images appear in this feed in full screen. But he did not elaborate on what the platform had done to address users’ concerns.
The navigation bar changes were also not mentioned in the post, nor were they shown in the images provided by Instagram. But a spokesperson referred to them in response to a query about how this test differs from the May test.