If you’ve been lurking on Instagram lately, you may have noticed a few major changes to the platform.
After first introducing the Reels feature in July, the social media giant has now made it accessible on the Home screen; Reels is now located where the New Post icon was. The New Post Icon has been moved to the upper right corner.
The Home, Search, and Profile Buttons still remain at the bottom of the home screen, but some Facebook users may have been pleasantly surprised to see that Instagram Direct Messaging now shares the same icon as Facebook Messenger.
Instagram also added a new Shop tab in place of the Activity feed. This tab allows users to browse through products promoted by their favorite brands and influencers.
Aside from these new additions to the Home Screen, Instagram has also updated its Direct Messaging. Now, one can change the Theme of their chats and react to messages using emojis. Users are also able to directly respond to specific messages. Finally, Instagram has merged Facebook Messenger and Instagram Direct Message.
Despite the novelty of the new home screen, many LCHS students have expressed mixed feelings about the update. Cole Rohan (11) commented on how Instagram had “cloned features of other platforms, Reels especially”. He makes this comment in reference to the many similarities between TikTok and Reels.
Rachel Choi (9) echoed these sentiments, likening Reels to “TikTok.2”.
Claire Chiow (10) also expressed frustration with Reels, describing how it “is extremely annoying because if it’s in your feed it cuts off the video so you have to click on it and watch it as a Reel and rewatch half of the video”.
Sarah Dea (10) added that “I don’t use the shopping thing or anything else except the search button”.
Despite this overall negative attitude, Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, expressed optimism. In a blog post, he wrote “We’re excited about the new design and believe it gives the app a much-needed refresh while staying true to our core value of simplicity.”