How Instagram is Shifting the Focus Towards Reels

11 September, 2020 (Friday)

With the massive popularity of Instagram’s short-form video format through, Instagram is pushing the Reeling trend even further by encouraging more users to plunge into using the option by streamlining the user experience in their latest tests.

First off, Instagram is testing different layouts for its home screen which now has tabs for two of Instagram’s latest endeavours to accommodate— Reels and Shops. In a recent update for Indian users, the explore tab was replaced with the Reels tab and the explore option was moved to the top right, next to the DMs option. Instagram is experimenting with different layouts globally to find out which layout works best with users, since making Reels more accessible might improve engagement but could also affect the user experience negatively since people have been accustomed to a different layout.

Adam Mosseri, Instagram CEO,  said, “These changes reflect shifts we’re seeing from people, both in how they use the product but also how they push culture forward on Instagram: rise of creators, explosion of video, acceleration of online shopping. We want to adapt to these shifts while keeping things simple.”

Another experiment to elevate the Reels feature is the monthly trend report which will showcase the most popular trends on Reels for each month. These could be a format, a dance, a tutorial, a challenge, etc. and the possibilities are endless. Having such data might be useful not only for viewers who get to enjoy the most popular content but also for creators who can use such data to draw inspiration and improve their own content.

Instagram is also testing a new Suggested Reels feature which will be similar to the Suggested Stories that show up in the feed. This addition is yet another attempt to get more users to use the Reels option since most users spend most of their time on the app scrolling through this section.