Instagram is reportedly testing vertical navigation for their Stories feature within the app. The feature, confirmed by Instagram to be in its prototype phase, will introduce a new way of navigating through Stories, that will bring it in line with another features in Instagram, which are Reels.
— Alessandro Paluzzi (@alex193a) February 2, 2021
The feature was spotted within the app’s code by Twitter user @alex193a. At the moment, navigating through Stories is by swiping horizontally or tapping on the left and right edge. Other features such as Reels and regular posts use vertical scrolling instead.
Having vertical navigation in Stories will help better consolidate the experience on Instagram, especially since the developers have begun pushing Reels in their app. Vertical scrolling is already being in use in Instagram Reel’s competitor, TikTok. If the test goes live, there is a good chance that Instagram will prioritize more video content in Stories, instead of static images or posts.
The feature is only in an early prototype phase, and it is unclear when will it be tested or if it will ever be released to the public.