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  • Ruth Raima Servida

Instagram Tests Out Reel-Style Explore, TikTok-Like Vertical Feed

TikTok is the most downloaded app for the past 18 months, but other platforms won't let themselves be left behind.

App researcher Alessandro Paluzzi spotted Instagram once again looking to nullify its video rival with a new test of a TikTok-like vertical content feed for Explore. Once entered, it would enable users to swipe through Instagram's content recommendations and across on multi-image posts.

Paluzzi noted that within the test, the Explore section remains how normally it is until users tap on a post, when one does the post then expands to the new-full screen, Reels-like display. Users can also either tap back the arrow in the top left screen to go back to the regular Explore listing or instead, users will be able to swipe up to the next post in the Explore feed. There will be also an option to swipe across on multi-images carousels, indicated by grey dashes along the bottom of the screen, which has been described as very TikTok-esque but at the same time a brilliant idea.

Instagram's chief, Adam Mosseri has ackowledged TiKTok's lead on "content discovery" feature which is being utilized by its "For You" Page, as well as it highlights personally relevant and entertaining public posts based on each users' engagement behaviors.

"You know that you can tap on TikTok, and you're going to immediately smile and be entertained." Mosseri said.

Instagram on the other hand is not still on this level as it is still largely confined by whom the users follow together with the content they create. This boxes in the amount of great, engaging content that Instagram's algorithm can show every user.

Even if Instagram doesn't have the same indicators as TikTok for the general content and Instagram's focus is on people and profiles that users follows and not on broader exploration and content exposure, the new test for Instagram's Explore page is still an excellent and positive approach. It seems to be a fairly well-developed one, based from Paluzzi's example clip, and if it can be used by the Explore page, with its full-screen presentation, honing its focus and helping algorithms maybe Instagram could also become more responsive. If successfully implemented, Instagram will enable users to see what they like, making Explore Page better aligned with each user.

Any thoughts on this? Would you spend more time on Instagram because of this feature?

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