Instagram Brings New, More Accessible Stories Format To Its Desktop Interface

Instagram is introducing a revamp UI to their desktop mode, enabling stories to be viewed and gone through in a much more convenient manner.

Stories are arguably the most definitive trait of Instagram, even if they have been emulated (or, more accurately, ripped off) from Snapchat. Users interact with them more, they've taken over as everyone's primary source of daily profile updates, and features such as Instagram Live have only cemented their role as Snapchat's centerpiece. Which begs the question: if they're so important, why did Instagram's desktop version get such a limited version of them?

Visitors to Instagram's desktop version will probably notice the barebones layout, as compared to their app version. The website really does feel like an afterthought, or a rushed port. Users can't even post using it, which sort of begs the question of its existence. Kierkegaardian queries aside, Instagram does seem to be pushing out updates in an effort to make it more accessible and, well, fun to use.

In April 2020, Instagram announced an update enabling users to send and receive messages via the webpage. And while live streaming cannot be initiated on the desktop platform, they were noticed to be viewable at the least. These updates occurring throughout 2020 was either very well-planned or a stroke of good timing for Instagram, considering how the COVID-19 pandemic led to a marked increase in desktop use, especially for individuals working from home.

This latest update is concerned with how stories are viewed on the website. Initially, if a story tile was clicked on, the resulting picture or clip would completely cover the screen until viewers clicked them all aside. While the same occurs on mobile screen, the ability to swipe with a mobile and skip irrelevant account stories altogether is much more convenient than a desktop can manage.

Now, when clicked upon, stories will present themselves in a carousel fashion, with the main story up and center, while other stories are towards the sides and displaying icons that show their associated accounts. This not only allows for an easier switch between stories, but also allows users to skip multiple stories and directly land on the ones that most intrigue them.

Instagram's new year's resolution seems to be finally giving their desktop version some love. A decision that, honestly, works best in conjunction with work-from-home employees, and lets people make the most of their time home under lockdown. Which, considering the UK's recent extension of quarantine, might prove to be a mild distraction, if not a useful invitation.

H/T: Engadget.

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