Instagram is testing a new feature that will give its users a more discoverable and immersive experience. The platform is experimenting with a new full-screen mode for its feed as well as an updated navigation bar, in efforts to compete with TikTok.
The videos appear almost entirely full screen while scrolling through the feed with the navigation bar appearing underneath. The description, like and comment buttons appear at the bottom while the Instagram logo and other top buttons float above at the top.
The company has previously tested full screen for stories. It trialed a design last month that was designed to promote videos, but it still included white bars at the top and bottom of the screen. It also largely left the main navigation bar at the bottom alone, but the company says it plans to test shortcuts for creating posts and messages there.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been keen on remaining competitive with TikTok as it seeks to keep younger users on Instagram. The experimental AI aligns with the company’s strategy to shift focus from still images, although Zuckerberg said they are still an important part of Instagram. Meta has recorded a decline in the apps’ usage by younger people.
TikTok has remained the most popular app, hitting up to one billion users monthly. A recent survey by the Reuters Institute of Journalism indicated that Kenya has the most active number of TikTok users globally, with 43 percent of the respondents between 18 and 24 years actively using the app.