It's amazing to consider the impact that TikTok has had on the broader social media landscape.
Already, we've seen several platforms looking to add TikTok-style feeds of short video clips into their offerings, as they seek to tap into the rising popularity of the app, and now, Instagram has confirmed that it's internally testing another TikTok copycat functionality, this time within Instagram Stories.
#Instagram is working on Vertical Stories ????— Alessandro Paluzzi (@alex193a) February 2, 2021
Swipe up and down to browse stories. pic.twitter.com/LDJje8l137
As you can see in this tweet from app research Alessandro Paluzzi, Instagram is working on a new vertical Stories feed, which would mean that you swipe up or down to view newer/older Stories.
Which is practically the same UI as TikTok - and with more and more users becoming accustomed to the TikTok feed, that probably makes sense.
But again, the impact of TikTok on social product development is pretty amazing to consider.
But Stories in itself is pretty popular, right? Instagram Stories is still being used by some 500 million people every day, do they really need to tack onto the latest trend when usage levels are already so strong?
The key focus here is growth momentum - according to estimates, TikTok is on track to reach 1.2 billion users in 2021, up from 500 million in 2018. And that 500 million was predominantly users of Douyin, the Chinese version of the app, while TikTok also lost 200 million users last year when India shut it down due to geopolitical disputes.
Given this, TikTok's growth trajectory, in spite of some setbacks, is actually amazing, which is why so many other platforms are trying to latch onto the same usage trends, and keep users from migrating away.
Research also suggests that TikTok users are spending more time in the app than they are on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger at present, not to mention other competing apps.
When you break it down, it's pretty clear why they're all clamoring to incorporate similar features. If that's what people want - which, clearly, based on these stats, they do - it makes sense for the social platforms to at least try similar updates and changes.
Which is what's happening here - Instagram has confirmed to TechCrunch that the vertical Stories feed is currently an internal prototype, which is not being publicly tested as yet.
But again, it highlights the influence of TikTok, and the space that it now occupies in the minds of social app developers everywhere. It would be little surprise to see this test move to the next stage, as it will be little surprise to see more TikTok-like features appearing in other apps.
We'll keep you updated on any progress in testing this potential new option.