Instagram has introduced risky redesign – and users are not happy

Any major social media interface update is usually met with resistance – the cry of “bring back the old Facebook” is still echoed. But Instagram’s first big new design for 10 years is more than just a UI design overhaul – it shows the world Instagram’s renewed priorities. And it’s a great-bold (and risky to say) move for the platform.

Instagram has placed two elements front and center. These are the ‘reels’, the short video makers that have so far been neglected by Instagram users (most of the reel content has the familiar tick stamp stamp on it) and shopping. For a platform that started life as a place to share beautiful images (made with the best photo apps), sure things have changed.


This is more than UI reconstruction (Image credit: Instagram)

To push these two features, Instagram began testing different formats in September so you can have a different version of the interface right now. But in the new version (which started yesterday), Instagram has removed the integral ‘compose’ button at the top right of the screen (so far). We assume that the thinking behind it is ‘out of sight, out of mind’, because the reels button is centered at the bottom of the menu bar.

We have to say, it feels a bit desperate. The given reels function was created in response to the irresistible success (and competition) of the TicTac model and it has not been successful on Instagram so far, we are not sure the right strategy to force the user’s hand. There may have been more work to be done to find the reels function earlier but we are sure they would be concerned if they wanted to use it.

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Instagram redesign

Shop and reels buttons front and center (Image credit: Instagram)

Then there’s the new ‘Shop’ button, which enables users to search for brands and buy products through the app. So far, the monetized content and shopping on Instagram has been somewhat biologically created and grown – in a variety of ways it feels peer-to-peer. While it makes up a large portion of Instagram’s daily use, it comes in the form of user-generated growth as long as content creators have a successful audience.

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About the Author: Tad Fisher

Prone to fits of apathy. Music specialist. Extreme food enthusiast. Amateur problem solver.

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