Instagram adds dedicated sections for shopping and Reels

The activity section has been demoted to the top right corner of the app.


Instagram is redesigning the layout of its home screen to emphasize shopping and Reels. The company introduced a new design that gives shopping and Reels permanent placement in the app’s navigation bar.

The company teased the change in September when it began testing three new variations of its home screen, but the update marks the first time Instagram is officially changing up its home screen in some time. With the update, Reels takes the place of the shortcut to create a new post while a new shopping section appears where the activity tab used to be. (Both the activity section and create post shortcut have moved to the top right corner of the app next to the inbox.)

In a blog post, Instagram Head Adam Mosseri said the change reflects a growing shift toward short-form video content and an increase in shopping during the pandemic. (Incidentally, both shopping and TikTok competitor Reels are also strategically important to Facebook’s future.) But the change is also likely to be unpopular, at least at first, among change-adverse Instagram users. For Instagram though, it’s likely a risk worth-taking, especially if it can get more users watching Reels and smashing the in-app buy button.