Instagram places dedicated Reels button on its home screen

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At the beginning of August, Instagram officially launched its TikTok-rivalling short video platform – Reels. This came after an initial test in India, which was formerly TikTok’s biggest market before it was banned by the government.

With TikTok’s future still unknown as potential suitors circle, Instagram is pushing for Reels to have the same popularity. As such it is adding a simple, yet significant change to the UI of the short video platform with the dedicated Reels button appearing on the home screen of Instagram.

This replaces the original position of the Explore button on the app, with that now shifting to the to the top of the UI next to the DM button. It may seem like a fairly innocuous design change on the surface, but does point to Instagram wanting more users to engage with Reels moving forward.

If you head to your Instagram app now, you likely won’t find it, unless you’re an Android user in India, where it is currently being tested out in that region.

Now word of wider release to other Android communities across the globe, or indeed to iOS, but it’s clear that while TikTok tries to sure up its business, Instagram is aiming to capitalise.

Whether it will indeed be able to surpass the viral success of TikTok or gets Instagram users to watch more Reels content in future, remains to be seen.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.