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Instagram unveils biggest changes to home screen in 10 years

Navigating Instagram is about to look a little different.

 

On Thursday, the Facebook (FB)-owned company unveiled the first major change to its app's home screen in 10 years. The new design gives its 15-second video feature Reels its own tab, and also adds a button dedicated to shopping. The roll out starts Thursday.

 

With the changes, Instagram is making a big bet on the future of short-form video and online shopping, two categories it's been investing in heavily, but hasn't shared any metrics about, like how many people are actually using them. (Instagram declined to provide any stats to CNN Business on both Reels and shopping.)

 

The Reels tab is located where a "+" icon that people used to create a new post or Story used to be. That icon moves up to the top of the home page, along with the "heart" button where you check your activity, such as likes and follows. The "heart" button's previous spot is replaced with the new "Shop" tab, and the direct messaging icon stays put.

 

"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," Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, said in a blog post.

When Instagram launched Reels, its TikTok copycat feature, it lived atop the Explore page or on user profiles, and was difficult to find. A dedicated tab featured prominently on the home page could get more people to click on and interact with the feature, as wildly popular upstart TikTok continues to face uncertainty about its future in the US. Instagram reportedly recruited TikTok stars to its platform ahead of the Reels launch, but influencers CNN Business has spoken with have had mixed thoughts on the product so far.

That same boost could apply to shopping, which for now has largely been happening through people seeing shoppable posts from brands, influencers or ads as they browse Instagram. With the "Shop" tab, users can search for specific products for the first time, see personalized recommendations and buy things directly on the platform.

 

 

12 / 11 / 2020 19 : 57