From Total Nightmare To Genuinely Helpful, Here Are All The New Instagram Updates
+ how to use them because Instagram has got us feeling like boomers.
If there’s one thing we can count on, it’s change. When it comes to our social media apps, you can rest assured they will change their layout the moment you’ve finally gotten used to it. And Instagram has gone and done exactly that.
Just as soon as we got used to reels, and the integration of the Instagram DMs with Facebook Messenger, our Instagram overlords have decided it’s time to make the app confusing again.
This time, there are SO many changes its hard to wrap your head around. But don’t stress, we’ve got your back with this handy list of all of the good and all of the bad. And because it’s got us all feeling like boomers, we also walk you through how to actually use the app now.
I feel like a boomer trying to navigate the new ig update
— sidney (@sidnugget) November 17, 2020
Let’s start with the good.
Instagram introduced this feature earlier this year for select creators to curate health and wellness guides like this one. Now, it’s available to the rest of us normal folk.
It allows you to curate products, places, and posts, both from your account or others’ and post them as a group. You can get creative and post your December mood board, you could create a list of best restaurants in your city, or a list of everything on your Christmas wish list as a very subtle hint to your family and friends. Very fun, very cool.
You can give your guide a title, a description, and write captions about each item you’re including. They will appear in a new tab on your profile.
Making actual posts has been made harder and honestly, just confusing (more on this later). For guides you need to click through to your profile by pressing your profile picture icon in the bottom right of the home page. Once you’re there, you will click on + in the top right corner, and ‘guide’ should come up as your last option in the pop up menu.
This one is very nice, in my opinion. Where you could only search up hashtags and user profiles, you can now search up ‘interests’. Essentially, this means a key phrase like vegan cooking, or black boots, or cute animal friendships, and user posts which match your key words will pop up. AKA you can now search for posts!! Very nice, very convenient.
This one is simple, press the search button, and type in whatever you want. I just typed in tea, and every post mentioning the word ‘tea’ popped up. Now, I want tea.
Unfortunately there’s also a lot of bad with all the changes that Instagram has brought forward.
You’ve probably already noticed this one. The post button has been replaced with the reel button, next to which is a shopping tab, and now the DM’s button looks like the Facebook Messenger icon, and honestly this is a LOT to take in at once, so let’s focus on the big changes.
The Post Button
The post button has been moved to the top right corner of the homepage but you can’t make every kind of post through it. You can only make a ‘post’, ‘story’, ‘reels’ or ‘live’ through this option. You need to actually go to your profile and click the + button there to make other kinds of posts like IGTVs, story highlights, and guides.
Beauty YouTuber James Charles had a lot to say about this, calling the update “absolute trash”, calling out Instagram for saying moving the post button: “Instagram does not give a flying fuck about their creators”.
On Reels: “nobody fucking asked for Reels, we have TikTok for that”.
It’s clear Instagram is trying to take on TikTok, despite the comparatively much clunkier system for making Reels.
I would try to walk you through how to make a Reel, but you’d be better off watching a YouTube tutorial. Sorry.
James Charles speaks out about the new IG update pic.twitter.com/I8CViuItJa
— Taylor Lorenz (@TaylorLorenz) November 13, 2020
I think the worst part abt the IG update is how the button placements denote importance. IG is now about reels and shopping since those are the big buttons at the bottom. Your posts and engagement? Not the focus of the app anymore, hidden off to an upper corner
— Homowork (@Bela_Cinderella) November 18, 2020
The new Instagram update changed the way I hold my phone. I now instinctively avoid the lower right area of my phone LOL
Attached is the “thumb zone” on phones. Usually apps take that in consideration when designing layout. IG wants to be a shop now. pic.twitter.com/fN2FMVkOTX
— Anira (@aniramdz) November 18, 2020
To be fair, this could be good or bad, depends how you look at it BUT the overwhelming consensus from users is this is a bad move.
The shop tab, located next to the reels tab, is designed to help users find brands around the world to well, shop. You can shop collections, guides, editors’ picks, browse shops you already follow, and discover more. Brands could already tag their products in posts, but this is next level. Think of it like a more refined Facebook Marketplace.
The change isn’t surprising given people have already been using Instagram to find new products — the social media giant found that 83% of Australians have found new products on the app, and 80% decided to buy products on it.
We don’t care about Reels and we don’t care about Shopping, stop changing the interface, STOP TRYING TO MAKE IT HAPPEN. pic.twitter.com/oV39qI7gWp
— Y (@ynik_) November 19, 2020
Reverse the new update, it’s awful! I’m on IG to post photos not shop! You made it harder to post content.
— Eva Frank (@EvaFrank84) November 19, 2020
I know everyone hates the ig update but it makes it so much easier to shop fashion nova 🤷🏼♀️
— HazelLove (@GeeGeeBabbieXo) November 19, 2020
To add your own products to Instagram shopping, you need to meet certain criteria and be approved.
Shopping is much easier. Just click on a product and it will take you straight to the website where you can buy it. You can also DM products to a friend, or save it for later.
It’s unclear at the moment how this change will affect influencers who make a good chunk of their money from posting about products. Since the products now just pop up on the social media site via businesses themselves, and posting has been made harder, it can’t be too good for them.