Social Media
Why does my Instagram feed look different? This photo and video test explains it.

Here’s Why The Photos And Videos On Your IG Feed Look So Different

Instagram is in total test mode lately.

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If you’ve been seeing bigger photos and videos on your Instagram feed in recent weeks, don’t worry — it’s not an app glitch. Following a May 2022 test, Instagram launched a new feed test that super-sizes the photos and videos in your feed on June 16 to select users. If you’ve been wondering why your Instagram feed looks different, this photo and video test explains it all. Here’s what you need to know about the oversized pics and vids.

Users who’ve had access to the new Instagram feed test since the beginning might feel like the test never ended, but that’s not the case. On May 3, Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri took to his personal IG account to announce the OG feed test, which enlarged photos and videos on the Home feed to take up more space on your screen. The change to your feed was made possible by the new 9:16 ratio, which replaced the standard square 1:1 ratio and alternative ratios that went up to 4:5. Mosseri shared that implementing taller images and videos is the company’s way of making the Instagram experience even more immersive.

The test eventually came and went, but by June 16, Instagram already launched a new version of the large feed test. You might not have even noticed your feed switched from one test to another, because both versions utilize the same 9:16 ratio. According to a Meta spokesperson, there are some key differences between the two. For starters, the old test displayed a white space on the top and the bottom of a 9:16 video. The new test, however, eliminates that white space to give your content that true full-screen feel — the company is testing a black background for a more “seamless transition to full-screen posts,” per the spokesperson. The new feed test also swaps the Shop and Reels tabs for shortcuts to make a post and send a DM. Oh, and there are different versions of the test, so it might not look the same for everyone.

If you are part of the test, the content on your feed will look bigger than it was before in order to adapt to a mobile-first world, as Mosseri alluded to in May. The spokesperson also shared that the original May 3 test is no longer in place, so if you’ve only been seeing the oversized content since mid-June, you likely were added to the new test that launched in June. FWIW, the feedback of the original larger photo and video feed was mixed, so that may be why all the new tests are rolling out.

Larger in-feed content isn’t the only change your feed has seen in 2022. After testing three new specialized feed options at the beginning of the year, Instagram officially rolled out Following and Favorites feeds in March 2022 to allow users to personalize their content and to view their IG feeds chronologically once again.

That same month, Meta also launched auto-generated captions for in-Feed videos to finally make video content more accessible across the board. Even your DMs got a major makeover this year, when Instagram launched new features that let users share music through two streaming services, create private polls for your group chats, and more. Needless to say, Mosseri has been a busy man in 2022.

If you’re not seeing the larger photos and videos on your feed, make sure you’re on the Home feed and not the Following or Favorites feed to check if you’re in the test. To return back to the Home feed, just tap the arrow next to the “Following” or “Favorites” logo at the top of the screen.

Only a select number of users have been given access to the test, so if you haven’t noticed a drastic change to your feed, you’re probably in the clear — at least, for now. Instagram also plans on testing more versions of the new feed style in the upcoming months, per the spokesperson, so you better appreciate your current feed while you still can.

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