Instagram’s layout update: is this a new turning point for the app?
Instagram has rolled out a radical new layout in it’s latest update which sees a complete change of functionality. The platform rolled out the change initially to a select few accounts and has gradually taken over the majority of users as of November 2020.
The app now moves the notifications tab and the new post creation button to the top right of the homepage, next to direct messaging. Replacing these icons at the bottom of the screen are now Instagram reels, and an Instagram shopping section.
This change is significant to users who now find themselves having to go back to their home screens to access notifications, and some are finding it difficult to adjust to. On the other hand, regardless of where the user is on the app, the Instagram shopping button is now readily available as an e-commerce platform which Instagram has offered to even more businesses and creators after an initial roll out earlier this year.
With Instagram reels now being a more prominent section of Instagram, some are suggesting the strategy is to take over TikTok, however users have noticed Instagram reels often being used as a reupload area for content created on TikTok, being migrated across.
The new update has generally not been received favourably, with some of social media's biggest creators criticising the change for a number of reasons. Influencer and makeup guru James Charles, with a following of 24 million on the platform said: “They moved everything around and it makes it very, very clear where their priorities lie”. He continues "People are saying that their posts are not being seen, that their 'Explore' page is broken, that their notifications are not going out, that they're not growing, and most importantly that people are not seeing posts on their own timeline from their best friends and family that they press the follow button on".
Creators, business owners and users will now have to wait to see if Instagram will change back to the original layout, or find an alternative solution to the drastic change. One thing is for certain- Instagram is fast becoming a one stop shop for both inspiration for the consumer and e-commerce functions that allow the consumer to convert in-app. Businesses and creators alike must adapt to this new direction to make the most out of their following and online potential.