After Instagram already changed the feed into a 3-feed option version, with the comeback of the chronological feed, Instagram is now experimenting further with an “immersive viewing experience”.
According to the Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, we live in a “mobile-first” world, where it would make sense to have bigger videos and pictures filling the screen. A tactic TikTok already is using and YouTube shorts as well.
So far, it will be a sort of testing phase and will only be available for a few users.
We luckily could test it, so let’s swipe through the new update.
First, we see that the ratio will be 9:16, not 1:1 or 4:5 anymore. When the picture is smaller it will automatically have a darker and blurred background. The caption is shortened, so we only see the first words, the amount of likes and comments. The first thing that comes to mind is: Will that have an impact on the importance of captions?
One main difference is the absence of the story-overview. When scrolling, the user will only look at the video and image, with no distractions. It’s, as Adam said, an immersive user experience. Maybe the user will look for longer on the picture, maybe the user will continue scrolling.
But what does that mean for the beloved stories? Will the story views and interaction decrease? Do we agree with Adam that we live in a mobile-first world?
We asked our colleagues about their opinion on "mobile-first" and have some answers to share.
Ciprian David, Director IT Project Management:
"I watch almost everything on the phone. It's always in my pocket and typically has the best interface compared to all other devices. In my bubble, watching things on a larger screen almost always happens because of a social reason (wife, kids, friends, etc.)."
Julen Sanchez, Technical Product Owner:
"I would say that it depends on the context, on the length and quality of the content, if I'm watching it alone or not; if I'm just amusing myself or need to be focused on the content."
Lars Kopp, Creative Director Art & Copy:
"I'm all the way YouTube on mobile and tablet, but for real lean back content, I still use my TV (Netflix, Prime, Sky etc.)."
Jesus Sanchez Balsera, Director Drupal Development:
"I only watch short videos on the phone, for longer ones I use a tablet, laptop or TV. Funny thing, for me a tablet goes into the laptop category more than into the mobile one."