Instagram is always giving its users the most updated version of itself and one of the best apps for keeping up with the times. With the beginning of 2020 came the birth of an app named Tik-Tok, which took the world by storm due to its short and marketable clips of content. Contrary to his usual fashion, Tik-Tok is not something Facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg has purchased, but he has taken the same concept of Tik-Tok and applied it to the platform under the name Instagram Reels.
It should not come as a surprise that Instagram would eventually add this feature to its platform since it also added the Story feature shortly after the wild success of Snapchat—another platform owned by Zuckerberg. However, the craze of Instagram Reels does not stop there. Now, Instagram is planning to test variations of Reels and their Shop feature as tabs on the bottom navigation bar.
Instagram Reels to Make an Appearance in Bottom Navigation Bar
Instagram Reels is bringing about a lot of changes to the Instagram user experience. Where users would once see videos suggested for them under the Explore tab, Instagram has now replaced it with Reels they think users would like to see. Our experts in social media marketing are always up to date on the latest changes to social media and learned that Instagram is testing a replacement of the Like tab for select users with an Instagram Reels icon and a Shopping icon. The plan is to make the platform more marketable to influencers and to compete with the video content giant, Tik-Tok.
Is Instagram Becoming a Platform for Influencers Only?
It may seem like Instagram is making a change to benefit its influencer population (55.4%)1 since most of the Reels seen are marketed in some way toward a user’s likes and interests, influencers are more likely to take the top spot. So if you are interested in changing your hairstyle or color, you may notice more Reels of hairstylists or beauty salons appearing over Reels of dance moves.
For those who are not influencers on Instagram (44.6% of its users),1 this addition of Instagram Reels and the Shopping tab can be more annoying than helpful because it is just another change in the user experience to get used to, on Instagram’s ever-changing platform. Instagram has not decided how the bottom navigation is going to look as yet and they have also not rolled out the changes to all users. Instagram’s Chief Executive Officer Adam Mosseri says the changes in Instagram are to reflect the shifts the company is seeing from users in how they interact with products sold on Instagram and how they shape Instagram’s culture.
How Can Influencers Help Your Brand?
Instagram is noticing more creators, videos, and more online shopping and wants to make this simple for its users to do and access. Another reason Instagram Reels could be moving to a separate tab is to keep up with the competition of Tik-Tok, an app that solely allows for infinite scrolling of video content, and mimic its UX. These changes are not all bad, though inconvenient. Influencers can be very helpful for your brand! Influencers can act as spokespersons for your business and grow it in unimaginable ways, reaching target audiences you may not have thought of. All it takes is a well-targeted campaign to set things in motion.
Some Instagram users may have already noticed this change as far back as July of 2020, or you may now be noticing the change on your device, as testing is still in process. There is no definite answer or date as to when Instagram Reels and the Shopping tab will become permanent fixtures in the bottom navigation bar, but for those who are influencers, marketing just got a whole lot easier. To learn more about Instagram Reels and Instagram’s algorithm, check out the related readings below.
Is your business in need of some social media expertise? Our team at Tandem can help! If you want to learn more about reputation management in South Florida, search engine optimization, or social media, our digital marketing agency in Fort Lauderdale is here. Contact us to find out what the buzz is all about or give us a call at (954) 519-4114 today!