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Instagram adds Reels and Shopping to the homepage

Instagram has recently changed its home page layout, to keep up with the ever-changing online world. The new layout sees the addition of the Reels tab, Instagram’s answer to TikTok, as well as a Shopping tab. Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, deems the change as a reflection of this year – “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.”

The addition of the Reels tab provides entertainment and escapism for online users, a different avenue to the polished and aspirational posts we’re used to seeing across Instagram. It shows that they’re growing their offering as an app, providing alternative content to consume due to the app being so often criticised for sharing what some described as ‘highlights’ instead of ‘real-life’.

Though Instagram has been shoppable since 2018, rolling out this tab on the home-screen suggests that Instagram is aiming to become a one-stop app, where users can get inspiration and shop all in one place. The Shopping tab is designed to encourage users to shop on Instagram as well as supporting different businesses. With Black Friday here, it’s no surprise Instagram has rolled this out ahead of the shopping frenzy.

The addition of the new tabs to the home-screen creates variety for the user, with different tabs potentially being better suited to different audiences. We’d expect this change to increase the average time spent on the app, and potentially entice users to stray from other social apps that aren’t offering a similar array of content. Others have argued that social-media app innovation is non-existent with most apps now borrowing features or ideas from one another.

All Response Media viewpoint

As an agency, we think the addition of new features (even if they’re inspired by other apps) are implemented to cater to the growing demands of the user. We know the way the world consumes media is constantly changing, and apps shouldn’t be criticised for following media consumption trends to meet current demand. It also provides our clients and advertisers alike the opportunity to diversify their brand messaging across a wider range of creative formats and placements within Instagram. For example, the Instagram Shopping tab presents an opportunity for our retail clients specifically, whilst the Reels tab could allow brands to express key messaging or insights. Currently, ad formats are not available across reels, but we don’t think it’ll be long until Instagram decide to monetise this side of the app and introduce ad formats

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