Hey, you like Stories, right? Sure you do, and soon, you might be able to access more of them even faster, based on this new Instagram test.
As you can see in this screenshot provided by user Ed Maughan (and shared by social media expert Matt Navarra), Instagram is currently testing a new, double-story Stories feed for some users.
Various users have now reported seeing the new Stories display, with the updated format appearing for them this week.
Instagram has confirmed the test to SMT, providing this brief statement:
"We’re always testing ways to improve your Instagram experience."
There's no word on how wide the option is being tested, nor on specific regions where it can be accessed. But it is, indeed, being tried out, and it could become the new normal for Stories if it sees positive user response.
Instagram has actually been looking at adding more Stories bubbles for the last few months, with reverse engineering analyst Jane Manchun Wong spotting the back-end code for such back in April.
abusing Instagram’s potential multi-row Stories redesign lmao pic.twitter.com/eAUYRzbnRi— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) April 4, 2020
Wong also recently discovered another Stories test, which would make it easier quickly switch between Stories, which Instagram also confirmed.
Instagram is working on a quick switch to other user’s Stories pic.twitter.com/rq2KBlmO4o— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) May 7, 2020
The various options point to the next big shift for Instagram - with more people using Stories, at some point, Instagram will likely look to switch the main focus of the app from the traditional user feed to a Stories feed from the get-go. That could mean that, eventually, your Instagram app will open on the first frame of the first Story in your tray, then let you skip through Stories from there.
That would be a significant shift, but as parent company Facebook has repeatedly noted, Stories are on track to overtake the news feed as the primary surface for social media engagement, if they haven't already.
It may seem like a big jump, but with younger users, in particular, becoming more aligned with the Stories format, it makes sense.
As such, a double-story Stories listing may only be the start - if that proves popular, you can bet that Instagram will take it as a signal that more Stories is better.
That could have major implications for social media usage moving forward. At this stage, Instagram is still testing, but it's worth noting the growing focus on Stories, and considering how that relates to your posting strategies.