Instagram is chasing TikTok with a new full-screen experience test

Instagram is testing out a new full-screen mode for its feed and an updated navigation bar in hopes of making content on the platform more discoverable and immersive. The test, which has been rolled out to “a limited number of people,” according to Meta spokesperson Seine Kim, is the latest effort from the company to compete with TikTok when it comes to social video. If you’re a part of that group, you’ll be able to see videos almost entirely full screen as you scroll through your feed (the navigation bar will still appear underneath them). The description, as well as buttons that let you favourite or comment on the video, will appear along the bottom, and the Instagram logo and other top buttons will appear floating above the top. It also left the main navigation bar at the bottom mostly unchanged, whereas the company says it’s planning on also testing shortcuts for creating a post or message there. The experimental UI seems like yet another thing Instagram is doing to try and remain competitive with TikTok.

Snap is working on a paid subscription called Snapchat Plus

Snap is doing internal tests of a paid subscription called Snapchat Plus, which will apparently give users early access to features. According to information posted to Twitter by app researcher Alessandro Paluzzi, Snap is also testing other features for Snapchat Plus, including the ability to pin one of your friends as your “#1 BFF”, change the Snapchat icon, and see who re-watches your stories. Paluzzi also shows that the price for Snapchat Plus is currently listed as 4.59 Euros a month. Of course, at this stage those may just be placeholder prices. Snap is far from the only social network or messaging platform that’s working on a paid tier – Telegram has confirmed that it’s working on a premium subscription as well, and Twitter launched its Blue service last year. In the wake of Apple introducing a privacy feature for advertisements with iOS 14.5, allowing users to turn off ad tracking on an app-by-app basis, many free apps have had to reconsider how they make money. Snapchat in particular cited changes to iOS as a reason for missed revenue targets and has said it will slow down hiring this year.