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  • Meerelle Cruz

Instagram Experiments With New Stories UI

Instagram has been testing a new Stories UI for a few weeks now, which essentially conceals Stories postings after a specific frame count. Some Stories are now only displaying the first three frames, along with a little 'Show all' prompt in the upper left of the screen, as shown in this sample supplied by Content Strategist Claudia Flannery.

This would be easy to overlook, which means that if you add more than three frames to your Story, the later ones are far less likely to be spotted.

According to Flannery:

“This obviously will lead to a significant decrease in views and reach, given that most are unlikely to actively go and click to show all.”

When IG was approached for some insight, it responded with the following:

“This feature is in early development and testing with a very small percentage of people.”

Stories would be displayed in this style with the frame count down at the bottom of the screen, indicating that users can swipe left to see more — and perhaps Instagram believes that displaying too many frames will be distracting, diverting users away from the vertical swiping experience. Perhaps it's a technical limitation, and Instagram is unable to make it operate beyond a specific frame count. In either case, expect your Stories performance to suffer if it is implemented, particularly in the later frames that few people would manually tap through to see.

It appears to be the incorrect path to take, but with Reels becoming a key growth feature on Instagram (Reels now account for more than 20% of all time spent on the platform), perhaps this is just another subtle push from the platform to get people to focus on Reels instead. Maybe that's all that's required but it's still in beta, and its impact on content plans might be considerable.

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