Instagram has introduced Reels and Shop tabs to its home screen, representing a significant shift for the platform by better highlighting creators.
Instagram is introducing a Reels tab and a Shop tab to its home screen, a pair of indicators that show the app is undergoing some significant changes. It’s commonplace for apps, especially social media platforms, to make changes to adapt to evolving social landscapes. Instagram just happens to be the latest platform to bring forth changes to match the trends of their audience.
Having been founded in October 2010, Instagram has been a social media platform based on photo and video sharing for just over a decade. The app has served as a foundation for social media influencers to rise in popularity and stardom, with standouts like Kylie Jenner or Cristiano Ronaldo amassing millions of followers. Now, though, Instagram is making an effort to cater to a different kind of creator.
In a recent blog post, Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri said the platform is introducing the Reels tab to be a “place where people can share their creativity with the world and have a chance to break out and find an audience.” Mosseri added that, with the Shop tab, Instagram is hoping to help shoppers get inspired by their favorite creators and support small businesses. The Instagram executive emphasized that he believes the new design gives the app an important refresh and mirrors the way that the creation and enjoyment of culture have changed.
Key Features Of Instagram Reels & Shop
Reels is an Instagram feature that debuted in August 2020 and invited users to record and edit 30-second videos with audio, effects, and creative tools. Instagram users could select Reels at the bottom of the Instagram camera, then utilize editing tools, Instagram’s music library, and other tools like AR Effects or Speed to help create content. Reels can be recorded in a series of clips or all at once and can be shared with followers as well as discovered through Instagram’s Explore feature.
Shop is another new feature to Instagram this year, predating Reels by roughly a month with a July 2020 release. In a blog post announcing the feature, Instagram said Shop will offer “fresh collections and products from brands and creators,” in addition to curations from Instagram’s social shopping channel. Users are able to use Facebook Pay for purchases made using the Shop feature, which Instagram says adds an extra layer of security thanks to the ability to add a unique pin or safety measures like Touch or Face ID.
Does adding new tabs to the Instagram home screen count as a major initial change? Maybe not from a general perspective. But it does definitively show that Instagram is putting these new features at the forefront of its platform, in a controlled effort to align itself with the way its users are consuming content and making purchases in this modern age. That’s a good step for any platform, especially one that prides itself on being at the center of the world’s latest trends.
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