Instagram is constantly reinventing itself over the past few years. If you haven’t yet noticed, the app has added a few more features this November, with more probably rolling in towards the beginning of next year.
New Reels and Shop tabs replacing camera and activity on home screen.
A redesign of Instagram’s homescreen now adds a Reels and Shop tab to the bottom menu, replacing the camera and activity shortcuts for all users. Access to these options has moved to the top of the homescreen, beside the Instagram Direct icon. The overhaul comes after Instagram tested various redesigns with select users.
The Reels tab replicates a TikTok-like experience, automatically opening on a video posted by any public account. The update reflects Instagram’s bid to offer creators more exposure and push the short-form video format.
According to Instagram head, Adam Mosseri, “this year we’ve seen an explosion in short, entertaining videos. We’ve also seen more people buying online and looking to creators for shopping recommendations.”
New ‘Guides’ Features
Earlier this year, Instagram launched a new feature called ‘Guides’, which allowed creators to share tips, resources and other longer-form content in a dedicated tab on their user profiles. Initially, Instagram limited Guides to a select group of creators who were publishing content focused on mental health and well-being. Today, the company says it’s making the format available to all users, and expanding Guides to include other types of content, as well — including Products, Places and Posts.
This ‘Guides’ format was designed to give Instagram creators and marketers a way to share long-form content on a social network that had been, until now, focused more on media — like photos and videos. By comparison, an Instagram Guide could look more like a blog post, as it could include text accompanied by photos, galleries and videos to illustrate the subject matter being discussed.
The feature could help increase users’ time in the app, since users wouldn’t have to click through to external websites and blogs to access these posts, for instance, through a link in the creator’s bio or through a link added to one of the creator’s Stories.
With the expansion to Products, Places and Posts, Instagram’s Guides can now cover more areas. Instagram says it made the feature easier to use, too. It may also feature Product Guides inside its new shopping destination on the platform, Instagram Shop, the company noted.
Visitors to Guides can share the Guides across their own Stories and in Direct Messages, expanding their reach even further.