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Instagram to launch full-screen Stories feature

Sophie Thompson
2nd July 2020

Over 500 million people use Instagram Stories every single day - that’s already double the active user population of SnapChat (the social media platform that pioneered the story format), and things are about to get even bigger, as Instagram has confirmed it’s rolling out full-screen Stories.

Right now, users can see Stories from the people they’re following in a row at the top of their feed, but the company is now testing two major changes to the way we see them, both in rows, and as a full-screen experience.

READ MORE: Snapchat vs Instagram: Where does your brand belong?

Currently being trialled with a small number of users, the first of these will allow two rows of stories to appear instead of one, making it easier to select which ones you view, and doubling the number of icons that appear on-screen from four to eight.

The second, and more drastic approach, is that Stories will have their own page entirely, with the option to ‘see all stories’ being integrated into the current design, presenting users with a full-screen grid of content to view.

Instagram has already confirmed to TechCrunch that the testing phase has already been in action for over a month now, and with sister company Facebook using their Stories feature as a huge focus for 2020, it’s no surprise that what once was a ‘copycat’ format is quickly becoming the new norm for how we view content.

If those who already have access to the feature end up spending longer using the Stories function, post more, or engage with more than they were usual, there’s a good chance that Instagram will try to make stories their main app function, matching the likes of competitor, TikTok - although it was banned in India just this week.

Facebook has previously said that Stories ads monetize at lower rates than News Feed, but we imagine this will change pretty quickly if the redesign is implemented on a larger scale, bringing even more users, and consequently, more advertisers.

Particularly for brands and publishers, this will be some welcome news, especially as social media scheduling tools including ContentCal now allow Instagram integration, making reaching new audiences even easier.

Ready to get inspired? Here are 20 ideas to level up your Stories ready for the big change.

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