Instagram is updating the design of its home screen for the first time in years to give Reels and Shop a more prominent placement.
The new design clearly establishes the app’s priorities.
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Updating an app home screen is always a big decision as it potentially transforms the user experience right at the heart of the app itself. This is the reason, probably, why Instagram had not changed anything for years.
However, the company has shifted its communication priorities recently, with a strong focus on Reels, its short-form video platform similar to TikTok, and its new Shop experience. While the new Reels tab will simply lead you to Reels, the Shop tab will surface personalized recommendations, editors’ picks curated by the @shop channel, shippable videos, and new product collections.
To accommodate the change, Instagram is moving the Likes and Create Tab to the upper-right corner, next to the 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.”
There is no denying that the new Shop tab has large potential. But the fact that Instagram chose to give Reels its own center tab only a few months after its official launch is a big statement. IGTV, the app’s long-form video feature, would not even dream of receiving a similar treatment. Talk about showing off your business priorities.
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