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Instagram is chasing TikTok with a new full-screen experience test

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Instagram is testing a new full-screen mode for its feed and an updated navigation bar in the hopes of making the content on the platform more discoverable and immersive. The test, which has been rolled out to “a limited number of people,” according to Meta spokesperson Seine Kim, is the company’s latest effort to compete with TikTok when it comes to social video.

If you’re part of that group, you’ll be able to see videos almost full screen as you scroll through your feed (the navigation bar will still appear below it). The description, as well as buttons that let you like or comment on the video, appear at the bottom, and the Instagram logo and other top buttons float above the top.

Videos in your feed now appear more full screen than before when you participate in the test.
Gif: Instagram

The company has experimented with full screen feeds before. Last month, it tested a design meant to highlight videos, though that still had white bars at the top and bottom of the screen. It also left the main navigation bar at the bottom mostly unchanged, while the company says it plans to test shortcuts to create a message or message there as well.

The experimental UI seems like another thing Instagram is doing to try and stay competitive with TikTok. While Kim said photos will “remain an important part of Instagram” and that the company is working to make them more compatible with a full-screen feed, Instagram’s leadership has made it clear that still images are no longer the focus of the app. . The push to be more like TikTok isn’t just skin-deep either; my colleague Alex Heath recently reported that Meta is making changes to the algorithms underlying Facebook and Instagram feeds in an effort to stay relevant to how young people use social networks.

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