Instagram has completely redesigned its home page, with the biggest change of placing a Reels tab front and centre.
The 15-second video feature has taken the place of the ‘+’ icon that people use to create new posts – this is now located at the top right of the home page.
The move, according to the head of Instagram Adam Mosseir, is linked to the social media firm’s decision to place ads in its TikTok competitor, CNBC reports.
Mosseir said Instagram will take a fee from purchases made through the app, which is vital for the Facebook-owned company to keep up with the competition.
Along with the new Reels tab, users will also notice the ‘heart’ button has been replaced by the ‘Shop’ tab and is now next to the direct messaging icon at the top.
‘We haven’t updated Instagram’s home screen in a big way for quite a while. But 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,’ Mosseir shared in a blog post regarding the redesign.
Some changes are coming to Instagram 👀
— Instagram (@instagram) November 12, 2020
Reels had a slow rollout this year, but was made available in 50 countries by August.
The feature allows users to create short videos, up to 15 seconds, which they can edit with a number of tools like music, filters and more – all of which mirrors the popular Chinese-owned app TikTok.
Mosseir told CNBC that TikTok was the inspiration for Instagram rolling out Reels, saying ‘TikTok gets all the credit for pioneering the space.’
He also said that many TikTok users carry their videos over to Reels and repost – leaving the TikTok logo visible in the clip.
The new Shop tab is to boost shopping in the app, as the firm also takes a percentage of each purchase made from such content.
And redesign ‘should see activity on shopping activity generally go up,’ said Mosseir.
Instagram did receive criticism when it launched Reels due to the idea that Facebook is a copycat in the social media world.
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The Mark Zuckerberg-owned firm began this path of ‘stealing’ when it added Stories to Instagram that it said was inspired by Snapchat.
Most recently, Facebook started testing a new feature called Neighborhoods that appears to take a page from the popular community-based social networking app Nextdoor.
Zuckerberg has addressed Facebook’s copycat methods, saying it creates fair competition.
Mosseir also said that Instagram is currently in the ‘catch-up phase’ with other platforms on the market.