Instagram’s about to look a little bit different. As of today, the platform’s overhauling its home screen to give Reels and its shopping feature some coveted (and permanent!) space in the app’s navigation bar. When you open the app today, you might notice Reels replacing the shortcut to create a post and the new dedicated shopping section replacing your old activity tab.
As Instagram head Adam Mosseri put it in a company blog post, this marks the first time that Instagram’s updated its look for the first time in a while, and that isn’t something the company takes lightly. In fact, the platform has spent the past few months testing out similar layouts for Instagrammers in India, Brazil, and other countries where Reels—Facebook’s rendition of TikTok lite—is supposedly blowing up.
Putting Reels front and center is certainly an interesting choice, to be sure. Mosseri explained that the company is “rolling out the Reels tab to be a kind of a stage, a place where people can share their creativity 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,” he added. “We’ve also seen an incredible amount of shopping move online, with more and more people buying online and young people looking to their favorite creators for recommendations on what to buy.”
Or, in other words, regardless of whether or not you’re comfortable with Instagram becoming some kind of QVC for teens, that’s clearly where the platform sees future growth. And we all know that Instagram, like all Facebook properties, values growth over just about everything else.