Instagram Adds Reels and Shop tabs To Homescreen

Instagram’s making major design changes to its home screen for the first time in years. Today, the company announced that it’s adding Reels and Shop tabs to its home screen, a communication of the company’s priorities. The Reels tab will, of course, lead users to Reels, shortform videos similar to TikTok. The Shop tab will surface personalized recommendations, editors’ picks curated by the @shop channel, shoppable videos, and new product collections. Both tabs make it easier for people to find what they want on the platform and go there immediately.

As explained by Instagram:

"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."

The fact that Instagram is committing to a Reels tab only a few months after its launch in the US and abroad suggests the format is here to stay. Interestingly, IGTV, Instagram’s home for longform videos, still hasn’t received a dedicated home screen tab and is only available through the Discover page, which could speak to the lack of interest in the format.

The shopping addition is less surprising than Reels. Instagram has developed its shopping product over years, and this summer, it launched a dedicated shopping page and the ability to use Facebook Pay for transactions. Placing both Reels and Shop on the home screen means we can expect to continue to see the company invest in both of these areas.


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