Instagram is putting its TikTok competitor Reels front-and-center in a redesigned version of its app by giving it the center position on its new navigation bar. The update, arriving today, also replaces the Activity tab (heart icon) with the Shop tab, following a test that had changed this aspect of the app’s home screen earlier this summer.
In the redesigned app, both the Compose button and the Activity tab have been relocated to the top-right of the home screen, while the center middle button now belongs to Reels.
Before, Reels videos were mixed in with other photo and video content on the Instagram Explore page, though Instagram this fall began to experiment with different layouts.
The redesign, which makes Reels the main button in the app, is an aggressive attempt on Instagram’s part to direct users to its short-form video feed, which has so far seen only a lukewarm reception from reviewers.
Simplicity, given the wide range of products Instagram now offers, could become a challenge.
When tapped, the relocated Compose button will now take users to a redesigned Camera experience, too. Here, you can either pick photos or videos to post to your Feed, or scroll over to choose to post to your Story, Reels, or go Live. While this doesn’t replace the swipe gesture to get to the Camera, it does give all the different post formats a more equal footing.
Next to the new Compose button is the relocated Activity button (the heart icon) and a redesigned messaging button that takes you to your Instagram DMs — which are now connected to Facebook Messenger’s universe. The messages button itself has been changed to look like the Facebook Messenger icon (for those who opted in to the new experience), and not the paper airplane icon that was previously associated with the Instagram inbox.
( information courtesy of Tech Crunch)