Reels and Shop. Updated Instagram brings two big changes.

Miša, Epic Agency
November 17, 2020

Instagram is following TikTok trend. With the latest update we got a new tab called Reels – short and entertaining video clips from content creators all over the world – like the ones we’re used to from TikTok.

The other change is tab Shop which enables us to connect with brands, creators and discover new products. It is designed to encourage in-app purchases.

A pretty big change is indicator of the fact that we should focus on young and creators because they are the trendsetters. With the pandemic we’ve seen an explosion in short entertaining videos. Here comes tab Reels which enables users to share their creativity and find their audience. We’ve also seen an incredible amount of shopping move online. More and more people, especially young, look to their favourite creators for recommendations on what to buy. Here comes tab Shop which makes it easy to get inspired by creators you love, shop on Instagram and support small businesses.

Will Reels become a more popular option than TikTok?

Probably the main question following the update. It may seem it probably won’t ever be as popular as TikTok. But even so, with a billion users seeing that new tab, a lot of them will be prompted to check the latest tab and if Instagram can offer better monetization options, that could bring more TikTok creators to migrate and bring their large audiences with them.

Besides that, Instagram chief Adam Mosseri has also announced that ads are coming to Reels soon.

As per Mosseri:

“I think that we can leverage the story ad format (for Reels) because it’s the same immersive experience, so that’ll be helpful because you don’t need to get advertisers to create a bunch of new creative.”

So that’s another option to consider for brands. If Reels does take off, that could be a good way to advertise and connect with younger users.

Instagram’s new eCommerce tools will also provide new revenue opportunities which is where the new Shop tab comes in.

Instagram’s been testing this tab since July so some users have had it in their app for a while. But now we all got the new direct connection taking us straight to in-app shopping experience.

The tab is the latest expansion of Shops on Instagram, with the next update likely to be the development of Facebook Pay, which will make it easier for users to make one-click purchases in-app.

Both of these additions are pretty significant changes and there is a risk that the app main screen is now simply having too many options. But usage data will tell us throught time if people will spend more time, and eventually money, in-app. And if it can steal some audience away from TikTok as well. The main role will most likely be played by monetization, where the favorite is a little clearer.

Miša, Epic Agency