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.
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.
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.
With store activity, Instagram will officially establish itself as a third-party marketplace. While the success of the influential model and targeted ads on Instagram show that there is an appetite to buy through the app, identifying yourself as a marketer with such output is a bold move.
This can be a positive step for creatives who want to showcase their work and sell through the app, but only if Instagram keeps its user base with it when it changes.
And yet, it’s safe to say that people aren’t affected:
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“If we’re going to make changes to Instagram navigation, it’s a big deal,” he told CNN Business. “We don’t think every Instagram user would value these tabs one day … but we believe they can be.”
And with the location of these tabs, Instagram clearly wants to create their focus, which means users don’t find them valuable as they may find lower value on the platform itself due to changes in content in response.
We found that Instagram needed to find a new direction (mostly due to the tic tac toe generation), and are waiting for more users to respond with interest. Needless to say, we missed the days we spent there looking for beautiful pictures.
Which social media home is not sure for you? Check out our guide to the top social media platforms for artists and designers and you can follow আমাদেরcreativeblockfofial on our Instagram.
Prone to fits of apathy. Music specialist. Extreme food enthusiast. Amateur problem solver.