TikTok currently dominates the social video sector as it recorded over a billion users recently. However, it might face stiff competition from Instagram as the popular social media app is testing new features such as a full-screen mode for the feed and a navigation bar (updated) to make its content more immersive and discoverable.
Per Meta spokesperson Sine Kim the test is currently available for a “limited number of people” as the company attempts to compete with TikTok for its throne.
If you are part of the users selected for the testing phase, you will be able to see videos almost full screen while scrolling through the feed (the navigation bar still appears below them).
The description and the button that allows you to comment or favorite the video will appear on the bottom. In contrast, the Instagram brand logo and another button will appear floating at the top.
The company isn’t unfamiliar with the full-screen mode on the feed as it has tested this before. Last month, Instagram tested a new design to highlight the video, despite having white bars at the screen’s top and bottom.
The navigation bar was left at the bottom unchanged while the company states that it plans to test shortcuts for creating a message or post there.
The Story behind the new features
The experimental UI appears like another attempt from Instagram to remain competitive in the industry and contest with TikTok. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg shared an Instagram story in which he stated, “We want to make it easier to discover content and connect with friends”.
He added, “Photos are still an important part of Instagram, and we are working on ways to improve how they show up in a full-screen feed too”. He also revealed that some people would start seeing this feature soon as he excitedly awaits their feedback.
The recent releases and statements of the leadership clearly state that the company isn’t entirely focusing on still images. Instead, it intends to change the push to be like TikTok.
Alex Heath also suggests that Meta is altering the algorithms of Instagram and Facebook feeds to remain relevant to the young generation and how they use the social networks.