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Instagram is testing full-screen photos, videos as it tries to become TikTok

Instagram logo on phone
Instagram logo on phone (Image credit: Joe Maring / iMore)

What you need to know

  • Instagram is testing a new interface that makes for full-screen photos and videos.
  • The new video interface looks similar to what TikTok has been doing for years.
  • The new interface is currently being tested with a limited number of users, but it isn't clear how many or when the change will roll out to everyone.

Instagram is testing new full-screen photos and videos as the social network makes further changes in an attempt to turn itself into TikTok.

The move, announced by Instagram chief Adam Mosseri via Twitter, is being tested with a number of users although it isn't clear how many will see the new interface as part of this phase. We can expect that the same change will be made available to all users eventually, depending on user feedback.

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The new interface is a cleaner look than the one Instagram users will be familiar with and does immediately remind of TikTok. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, however, especially in terms of photos — the change means photos are larger and potentially more detailed as a result. If Instagram does make the change permanently, expect people to change the way they take photos in order to make better use of the new look.

Instagram is already one of the best iPhone apps for people who want to share still photos and videos, but its lunch has been eaten somewhat by TikTok.

In a follow-up tweet, Mosseri also confirmed that the new more vertical look will also permeate through other parts of the Instagram interface including the profile view, composer flow, and the "rest of Instagram."

Oliver Haslam
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.