Your Instagram app is going to look very different next month

Instagram is introducing changes that will alter the look of your app's home screen.
Written by Sabrina Ortiz, Editor
screenshot of Instagram's new web navigation on a pink, orange and purple gradient background
Image: Instagram

Just as you are getting used to the new layout of your direct messages tab, Instagram is introducing a whole lot of other changes to the app's layout. Starting in February, Instagram is changing its app navigation to make it easier to create and share content. 

The new navigation layout might mean that Instagram is going to redirect efforts back into being the photo-sharing app it once was instead of becoming the next big shopping or short-form video app.

Starting next month, the bar at the bottom of the app will now have the creating content 'plus sign' icon in the middle instead of the Reels icon. That places creating content at the front and center of the app, instead of short-form video.  

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The Reels shortcut will live on the bottom bar to the right of the creating content shortcut, booting out the Shop tab from the home page. This change follows tests Instagram ran in the fall that removed the Shop tab from the homescreen and moved it underneath settings. 

Instagram said that despite the removal of the tab, businesses will still be able to set up and run their shops on Instagram. People will still be able to make purchases on feed, stories, reels, and ads.

"The idea here is to simplify Instagram and focus more on what we are trying to do," says Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram in an Instagram Reel. "We are trying to bring people together over what they love."

Instagram initially placed the Reels and Shop shortcuts on the home screen in 2020, following the rise of TikTok's popularity. People were not fond of the update since placing the Reels icon in the center clearly highlighted Instagram's efforts to copy TikTok, with demand from high-profile users to 'make Instagram Instagram again'.

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