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We can’t say we didn’t see this coming. Instagram is currently testing a new full screen home feed, similar to TikTok. This change allows Instagram to put more focus on video content, an overall theme at Meta. These changes appear to be a continuation of the visual refresh Instagram announced at the end of May.

With this new feature, all posts will take up the entirety of the screen. Users will have to swipe up to skip to the next posts, as you would when viewing Reels. In addition to this interaction based change Instagram will also suggest more video content to users on home feeds. Emphasis on Instagram Reels.

 

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This test is not rolled out to all users so don’t panic if you’re not experiencing¬† the Instagram full screen home feed yet. Depending on the overall feedback of the test, we wouldn’t be surprised if it does get rolled out that users can start to see it by the end of the year. Don’t hold us too that though.

What Is The Instagram Full Screen Home Feed?

If you’re not sure what we’re talking about, we’ll elaborate a bit more. With Meta looking to focus more on engaging video content they’re trying to adapt their apps to this format. Similarly to how Reels are currently formatted, all content will be published in a 9:16 size. This means photos and videos published as a classic post might potentially be resized to built visual consistency with all forms of content.

What This Means For Instagram Content

One of the only things that has stayed somewhat the same (aesthetically) on Instagram throughout the years, is the home feed. So clearly this change indicates the end of an era, and the start of something fresh. It also indicates what Instagram have been hinting at for a while now: video content will now reign the app. Which makes sense seeing as back in April, Meta noted that Reels make up over 20% of time people spend on Instagram.

Classic photo posts will still be available on Instagram, however you may have to do a little more digging to find them. One question that seems to remain unanswered as of yet is the future of Instagram Stories. Currently they live on the top of our home feeds, and of course directly on user profiles. However with the new Instagram full screen home feed, one can only wonder where Stories will fit into it all.

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To make a long story short, it’s clearly evident that video content will be highly rewarded on Instagram. Is this Meta trying to compete with TikTok, hoping for a similar fate to Vine? Or is this just the platform adapting to the changing digital content landscape?

How This Impacts Your Instagram Strategy

The main thing everyone will agree on is this is a major change to everyone working in the social media world. It’s clearly becoming evident that Instagram Reels are no longer a nice to have, but an absolute must. Especially if you’re working on building your reach and following. If you’re not focusing on Reels content you might find yourself lost in the weeds.

Everyone has seen over the last couple years that Instagram engagement and reach are drastically down. However those who have taken the opportunity to jump into the Reels game has seen nothing but improvements on both those metrics. So clearly anyone looking to achieve success with Instagram in 2022 and beyond needs to get onboard with Reels. The good news is Reels don’t have to be as intimidating as they seem. You don’t need to invest in fancy video equipment or a big team. Reels content can be as simple as multiple images layered together with music, or a short 15 second video.

On the flip side if you’re still attached to static images you should begin to consider formatting them in a 9:16 size. This process doesn’t just begin in the editing room. You’ll want to consider this new content format from the moment you shoot it. Portraits over landscapes and be prepared to commit to some cropping if you didn’t shoot your content in 9:16.