Instagram is changing the way you swipe through Stories

Instagram app
Instagram app (Image credit: Instagram)

What you need to know

  • Instagram is testing a change to the way people skip Stories.
  • One Turkish user has shared a video showing a new vertical design.
  • TikTok already has people swipe vertically to skip videos.

Popular photo and video sharing app Instagram is working on a change to the way people swipe through Stories. Right now a horizontal swipe is required to skip one Story and move on to the next but that could soon change.

Instagram now appears to be testing a new vertical swipe for some people with one Turkish user sharing a video of how things work. It isn't clear how Instagram is deciding who gets the new interface or whether they will ever move those people back to the old one. We also don't know when or whether the new swiping gesture will be rolled out to everyone, either.

As the video shows, Stories will continue to work in the same way they do now but with one notable exception — skipping videos requires a vertical swipe rather than a horizontal one.

There's a very good reason that the new gesture looks immediately familiar — it's the same one used by TikTok and is definitely a design that people will already be familiar with. It isn't immediately clear why Instagram is testing the change but it seems likely that TikTok is part of the thinking here.

Both Instagram and TikTok are among the best iPhone apps at what they do and it isn't the first time we've seen one popular app borrow heavily from another. And it definitely won't be the last.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.