If you’re a frequent Instagram user (and keep your app updated), you’ve likely noticed some changes to the platform’s design lately.
Instagram has been testing new layouts to highlight its new features, Reels and Shop. It tested three different layouts for combining the buttons for the new features with the buttons for the existing features.
*Testing, testing* different versions of the home screen. ✨
Open Instagram and you’ll soon see a Reels and Shop tab in one of these layouts.
These updates represent how people are using the app and giving extra love to creators, videos and shopping. 🤳📹🛍 pic.twitter.com/Rnyf37ddQb
— Instagram (@instagram) September 9, 2020
Instagram played around with the placement of the Explore, New Post, Activity, Reels, and Shop tabs on the bottom row and top right corner of the Instagram home screen before revealing the final version on November 12.
Although changes to our beloved platforms can be challenging to adjust to, this update promises engaging new features without losing any of your old favorites!
Introducing the Reels and Shop Tabs
The reason behind the layout update was making room for some of the platform’s newest features, Instagram Reels and Shop.
Reels offers entertaining, short-form videos specifically curated for your interests, similar to TikTok.
Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri took to Twitter to explain the changes and the reasoning behind them!
“We know major changes to the app are going to be met with some skepticism, but we also know that the biggest threat that we face is that the world changes around us, and what we do becomes less relevant.
So we want to lean into those changes and we want to adapt to avoid that.”
This week we added tabs for Reels and Shop given how important video and shopping are to Instagram, and how much we’ve seen both grow, particularly this year. The world is changing quickly, and if don’t adapt, we risk becoming irrelevant.#ThisWeekOnInstagram pic.twitter.com/KnNMv3MWO2
— Adam Mosseri 😷 (@mosseri) November 13, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic, along with the ensuing lockdowns, quarantines, and work-from-home orders, has accelerated trends emerging in recent years.
Instagram’s new layout and features attempt to capitalize on some of these trends, including the increased demand for online shopping and visual social media content!
Instagram’s New Layout Mapped Out
While the new layout looks different, all the old features are still there. Now the bottom row of the app’s layout includes the Home, Explore, Reels, Shop, and Profile buttons.
The buttons for New Post, Activity, and Direct Messages can be found on the top right corner of your Instagram home screen.
In addition to the Reels and Shop feature, Instagram also added an “Add” button to the Profile page. Here you can create:
So, you may be wondering how everyone’s taking these big changes.
Unfortunately, the response to the new Instagram update hasn’t been exactly… well, um, glowing.
Instagram users have been calling out the social media giant, asking who wanted these updates in the first place.
Many users have announced their distaste for the shopping addition to the platform, and demand the return of the old version of the app! 😳
However, let’s remember that most major platform updates get their fair share of pushback.
A lot of it has to do with familiarity and habits – the good news is, most users will adjust in time.
After all, the new layout spells big opportunity for e-commerce businesses on Instagram to be able to reach new audiences in the shopping tab.
Not to mention, users diving into making Instagram Reels will have even more opportunities to expand their reach!
What about a better algorithm?
What about Instagram for tablet?
What about so many other things your users actually want???
Nope, more useless changes that no one asked for!
— Frebby (@AgrazAlvaro) November 12, 2020
Time will tell if this negative reaction lasts or if users will come to enjoy the new changes.
What do you think of Instagram’s new layout and features? Share your thoughts in the comments below! 👇
Kelsey is a senior pursuing a dual degree in Marketing and Psychology at the University of Oklahoma. A current Marketing Intern at Tailwind — your new Marketing team, helping you create social media designs, schedule posts, and optimize across Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest with one easy-to-use social media management tool. she’s passionate about creative problem-solving, marketing, and event planning!