Instagram Begins Testing Adding Timers to Stories

Instagram is going crazy on its Stories engagement.

Early this year, the giant social media platform began testing double Stories hoping that if the ton of stories posted on the home tab in a double and paginated row instead of a single line – it would lead to more people tapping through them.

Instagram has added a ton of features on Stories including music lyricspollsgifsnew set of colorful icons for Story Camera modes, questions, hashtags among others to entice its over 500 million daily active users and advertisers too.

That double row test is no more but the Facebook-owned network is now testing adding timers to Stories.

In a post shared on Twitter, Instagram is now adding timer listings right below the Stories bubbles to let viewers know how long each Story will be on Instagram before it expires – Stories have a 24 hour limit.

Instagram is betting on FOMO(Fear of missing out) and hopes these timers will prompt more people to click on the Stories before they disappear.

It might or might not work depending on your take on Insta stories. I have muted all of my friends’ Stories – sorry not sorry.

But if you happen to bingewatch Stories( cough…please get a life..cough), then Instagram wants to hook you up more on this format that has now transcended social platforms – Twitter’s Fleets and Spotify’s Stories.

You’ll realize that these Stories are not even on Chronological order. Also, the names have been removed.

Instagram is hoping that users will be pressured to engage with Stories and thus increase engagement statistsics. With more people interacting with Stories, the platform included more ads in between Stories for advertisers.


Adding timers to Stories makes me hate them even more as you now can’t enjoy them without the pressure – it’s like having a pointed gun at you.

Soon they’ll send a representative at our doorstep to remind us to watch stories & reels!

— Fateem Ahmed (@philosofateem) December 8, 2020

It’ll be interesting to see how this new feature is received by those included in the test. Hopefully, it doesn’t roll out to the public.

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Ndungu Jay

Jay is a content creator at with more than a year's experience in digital media. Armed with a Degree in Computer Science from Jomo Kenyatta University of agriculture and technology and an article already appeared on a US publication's website, he is exploring his chances of climbing up the Kenyan digital media ladder with a special focus on viral enriching content.
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