As the name suggests, the new functionality moves tabs from their typical horizontal resting place at the top of a browser to the side of the screen.
This may seem like a surprising or unnecessary change – but anyone that typically has tonnes of tabs open knows there’s only so much information you can see for each tab. If your browser is filled to the brim with tabs then you’ll typically just see icons for each tab, not giving you a particularly detailed view.
This can mean – if you’re having a long browsing session – you can lose track of what is on each tab, and may have to click on multiple tabs to find a page you had opened previously but can’t remember which tab it is on.
This is where vertical tabs come into play, as they provide far more information on each tab – making it easier to find a particular page when you have multiple tabs open.
Chrome doesn’t have a similar first-party feature – which is a rarity as the Google browser is often the one that leads where others follow. There is, however, a third-party extension for Chrome which enables vertical tabs.