Instagram Adds Reels, Shop Tabs to the Home Screen on Its Apps

The ecommerce destination debuted in July, followed by the TikTok clone feature in August

Adam Mosseri said, 'We haven’t updated Instagram’s home screen in a big way for quite a while' Instagram

Instagram unveiled the first significant change to the home screen on its Android and iOS applications for quite some time with the addition of tabs for its Reels TikTok-like short-form video creation feature and its Shop ecommerce destination.

Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri said in a blog post, “We don’t take these changes lightly: 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. We’re excited about the new design and believe it gives the app a much-needed refresh, while staying true to our core value of simplicity.”

Instagram

Reels officially debuted in the U.S. in August after having been tested under different names at least since September 2019.

Mosseri wrote, “This year, with the pandemic and much of the world sheltering in place, we’ve seen an explosion in short, entertaining videos on Instagram.”

And Shop debuted in July, giving users access to personalized recommendations, editors’ picks curated by the platform’s @shop channel, shoppable videos and new product collections.

“With putting shopping right on the home screen of Instagram, this further confirms the trend that social commerce is becoming the new ecommerce,” Linqia head of strategy and brand partnerships Keith Bendes told Adweek. “Let’s face it: Scrolling is the new window shopping. Even before the pandemic, the lines between shopping and content were starting to blur. And now, social platforms are rising as a dominant shopping channel, and influencers are becoming a leading mechanism for shopping advice.”

He added, “The lines have almost completely disappeared. With 72% of users making a purchase decision based on something they saw on Instagram, brands must ensure that all social content is shoppable, meaning that consumers can buy directly from the content. To enable shoppable content, brands can either implement the proper linking themselves for direct-to-consumer selling, activate checkout capabilities on their designated social platforms or partner with third parties to integrate retail carting solutions. It’s not an overly complex process, but it requires a strategy and clear intention.”

“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,” Mosseri added.


david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.
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