A Possible Turn for the Worst: Instagram’s Layout Change Receives Significant Backlash


Dennis Racket

Update Gone Wrong? Many social media users are outraged by the change in layout to the iconic Instagram app. Now featuring a shopping page and Reels, time will only tell if this new normal truly catches on.

For a decade, Instagram has been THE app for this generation. A place to send posts, direct message friends, and post pictures of yourself, friends, scenery, memes, and anything in between. However, Instagram has fallen to the curse we call 2020 as this beloved app has developed one of the most hated layouts.

After 9 years — since the launch of the app in 2010 —  Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri announced the app would hide the number of likes. The decision was made in an attempt to improve mental health and take away the pressures caused by social media. It was first tested in several countries including the United States. The move was extremely unexpected considering the app is centered around posting, liking, and commenting, this decision gained both backlash and support. “The removal of likes was something a lot of us had to adjust to, but I agree with the reason for them being taken away,” said sophomore Jordan Barnes.

In early November 2019 millions opened the app to a new layout with two new tabs. Instagram gifted Reels and Shopping a tab on the home page, moving the post and activity button to the upper right corner next to Direct Messages. The Reels replaces the post button in the middle of the bar, originally located in the explore page. Reels are 15-second videos with background music, eerily similar to TikTok. TikTok has millions of United States users, many of which are also active on Instagram, so it is no surprise that the social media community is angered by Reels being added to the home page in place of the post button.

The shopping tab sits in between the Reels and Profile tab with a shopping bag as the icon. In the shopping tab are recommended items, shop collections, explore guides, a wishlist, cart, and more. With this feature, small businesses can start out on a widely used app, but the Insta community doesn’t seem to like the idea of buying on a photo-sharing app. “I don’t know anyone who shops on Instagram. Nobody does, so it’s weird that it got a tab and even exists,” said sophomore Mallory Jackson.

For some Instagrammers, the added features may seem like the end of the world. For those who enjoy shopping via Instagram and Reels, this may seem like a blessing. Instagram has been on a roll with added features, and we can expect more to come. The removal of likes is here to stay, but will Instagram revert back to the original layout following the backlash of millions of users?