New Instagram Update Says Goodbye to Vertical Scrolling

In a recent update from Instagram, they began testing a feature that is new to the home feed: a horizontal timeline. No longer are your thumbs exhausted from the endless scrolling; the up-and-down vertical viewing of posts on your timeline. Now, new posts are a mere left or right tap away, much like Stories.

Why is this a big deal? Because it changes everything.

Without being hyperbolic, the shift from a vertical scroll to a now horizontal tapping timeline really does change the way Instagram is used, from a personal user experience to a professional marketing strategy.

For the user, you’re guided by little tabs along the top of your timeline, suggesting how many posts you’ve viewed and how many posts remain until you’re all caught up.

A single post now fills your screen. The Stories slide up and disappear, allowing you to view a single post without interruption. There is still a slight vertical scroll needed to view the full description, hashtags, and comments on a post. But other than that, you’re now more immersed in this single-view experience.

From a marketers perspective, a shift to a full-screen, horizontal timeline allows for some changes to tactics.

No longer do you have to worry about your post being in a 1:2 aspect ratio (the largest aspect which fills the most vertical screen space). Now, posts are no longer compromised by intruding posts above and below, a myriad of descriptions, hashtags, and Stories to top it off.

The previous endless-scroll function forced creators to be more thoughtful in how their post will be a thumb-stopper. How someone will stand out amongst many was a worry and top-priority, but now with Instagrams horizontal timeline, posts are singled-out and rather highlighted against a fuller, emptier screen.

It’s a wonder when other platforms will adopts a horizontal style of viewing content. But until then, try to enjoy your new viewing experience.