Instagram’s New Home Screen Focuses on Reels and Shopping

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It seems Instagram is not done with moving things around on the home screen. The Facebook-owned company has started rolling out a redesigned version of the app with a new home screen layout. Instagram now swaps out the ‘upload’ and ‘activity’ tab for ‘Reels’ and ‘Shop’ tabs in the bottom navigation bar.

Reels Tab is Now Front and Center

The upload and activity (shows likes, comments, and followers) tabs have today been moved to the top right. They sit next to the Messenger icon and well, you will have to stretch to reach two of the most important features on Instagram. The company aims to direct attention to its Tiktok competitor, Reels, by offering it a prominent front and center placement.

Instagram had previously replaced the ‘Explore’ tab in the navigation bar with Reels but it is now back to its original spot, which is amazing. Why does Reels have to be the center of attention? Well, in an official blog post, Instagram says “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.”

Though I understand that Instagram wants to increase viewership of short videos on its platform, I’m not the biggest fan of the Reels tab replacing the upload button. The app has always made it easier to upload content (photos or videos) by placing the tab right in the middle. But, the focus seems to have shifted from creation to consumption.

Instagram debuted its TikTok competitor, Reels, just four months ago and is already getting immense attention from the company. This major change shows that it’s here to stay and will only grow to be an essential feature of the app.

Instagram Adds a Dedicated ‘Shop’ Tab
Aside Reels, Instagram continues to expand its shopping feature, which lets you tag products in posts and stories, and now offers a ‘dedicated tab’ to explore products. In the official blog post, the company says that users will see curated recommendations via the @shop handle, personalized suggestions, new product collections from brands, as well as creators, and shoppable videos/ photos.

“We don’t take these changes lightly – we haven’t updated Instagram’s home screen in a big way for quite a while. 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,” said Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram.

Instagram finally mentions that it is taking a huge gamble by completely changing the home screen, offering quicker access to Reels and Shop instead of letting users upload content and engage with followers with ease. It will be interesting to see how creators react to this massive home screen revamp.


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