The company says that Reels – the short video format it cloned from TikTok – has never been more relevant …
At Instagram, our focus has always been on young people and creators because they’re trendsetters. Change is happening quickly right now, including how both of these groups use Instagram and engage with the world. This year, with the pandemic and much of the world sheltering in place, we’ve seen an explosion in short, entertaining videos on Instagram.
We first launched Reels a few months ago – and we’ve already seen amazing reels from creators, like roller skating with @esty, comedy from @cameronjhenderson, motivation from @paperboytheprince, and wheelchair choreography from dance team @rolletes_la. Now, we’re rolling out the Reels tab to be a kind of a stage, a place where people can share their creativity with the world and have a chance to break out and find an audience.
Aside from changes to icons in recent years, it’s the most significant redesign since 2016 and it speaks volumes about Instagram’s priorities of both keeping up with TikTok and raking in the dough.
The center button on the home navigation bar has long been a link to create a new post; it’s basically a camera button, although, in recent years, it’s taken on the shape of a little plus sign. Now, that button is getting moved upstairs to the upper right-hand corner, and a button for Reels is taking its place. Oops 😓😶
To the right, beside the center camera/new post button, was the heart button that took users to the activity feed tab. That’s also joining the create and direct messages button up top, making room for Shopping in its stead.
The Shop tab will give users more direct access to products and brands, something that Instagram had been historically reluctant to add to its platform. Over the past few years, it has been easier to see advertised products directly inside the platform, but there was not a specific tab or section of the shop. This design change launches the Shop tab, and Instagram is clearly working more directly to push product recommendations through the app.