Instagram’s making major design changes to its home screen for the first time in years. Today, the company announced that it’s adding Reels and Shop tabs to its home screen, a communication of the company’s priorities. The Reels tab will, of course, lead users to Reels, shortform videos similar to TikTok. The Shop tab will surface personalized recommendations, editors’ picks curated by the @shop channel, shoppable videos, and new product collections. Both tabs make it easier for people to find what they want on the platform and go there immediately.
The Likes tab as well as the Create tab where people upload photos are moving to the top right-hand corner next to the direct messages inbox.
“We don’t take these changes lightly – we haven’t updated Instagram’s home screen in a big way for quite a while,” head of Instagram Adam Mosseri wrote in a blog post. “But how people create and enjoy culture has changed, and the biggest risk to Instagram is not that we change too fast, but that we don’t change and become irrelevant. We’re excited about the new design and believe it gives the app a much-needed refresh, while staying true to our core value of simplicity.”
The fact that Instagram is committing to a Reels tab only a few months after its launch in the US and abroad suggests the format is here to stay. Interestingly, IGTV, Instagram’s home for longform videos, still hasn’t received a dedicated home screen tab and is only available through the Discover page, which could speak to the lack of interest in the format.
The shopping addition is less surprising than Reels. Instagram has developed its shopping product over years, and this summer, it launched a dedicated shopping page and the ability to use Facebook Pay for transactions. Placing both Reels and Shop on the home screen means we can expect to continue to see the company invest in both of these areas.