Instagram’s redesigns have a huge impact on its users but we often have a lot of fair warning before they roll out something big.
And, as far as the latest update is concerned, we’ve seen it coming for quite a while.
The new Explore tab is here and reviews, of course, are mixed but, overall, people seem to be optimistic that this latest update will really help users discover relevant content.
The new Explore adds quick access to Stories, topics, IGTV, and Shop. In an effort to push their Snapchat-like Stories feature, Instagram has created a curated stories grid in the Explore tab filled with users posting content that its algorithms think you will like. This will be based upon what topics you most commonly interact with on Instagram.
Instagram wrote on their blog: “Stories is an important way for people to connect with their interests on the platform, and over 500 million people use Instagram Stories every day. To help people experience the full breadth of interest content on Instagram, the redesigned Explore grid will now feature Stories. In the same way that Explore recommends posts based on topics you’re interested in, the grid will now provide you with personalized Stories recommendations. We’ll begin rolling this out over the coming weeks.”
One of the biggest changes is the Shop feature in the Explore tab. Here, users will be able to filter products by broader categories and then hone in on what they are looking for in terms of specifics. We’ve been reporting for months now that Instagram was going to push monetization more heavily in the future, and the latest “Shop” feature seems to be a huge part of that.
IGTV, meanwhile, is the service’s long-form content platform akin to YouTube. Like other info feeds on Instagram, this feed will also be tailored to user preferences including who you follow and what content you’ve interacted with in the past.