So far this year, Instagram has put some major muscle behind shopping on the app. With a Checkout feature that lets you shop for products without redirecting you to a third-party site, as well Shopping in Stories and Shopping Collections, Insta has made a priority of supporting the retailers and creators who rely on the platform for their businesses.
But it's been a hot sec since Explore — which is used by more than half of Instagram's one billion users every month — has seen any kind of redesign. Today, that changes, with the introduction of a new navigation bar with shortcuts for Shopping, IGTV, and topic channels like Food, Design, and Travel.
For those of us who already do a lot of shopping on the 'gram, it just got a whole lot easier. The Shop tab lets you search for specific types of products with category filters, which you can buy right on the app or opt to save to your Shopping Collection if you want to deliberate over whether you actually need those jeans or just want them.
You'll also now see Stories in the Explore grid alongside the photos, videos, and shopping posts you're already used to seeing. Basically, Instagram's most-used features just got a lot more cohesive. Hopefully next, Instagram will integrate a more comprehensive search functionality like Twitter's; as it stands now, you can only search for profiles, hashtags, or locations as opposed to general words.
Finally, following Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri's announcement last month that the platform was committed to prioritizing safety for users, the company is applying a stricter set of classifiers and parameters on sexually suggestive content, graphic violence, bullying, and more.
"Keeping people safe is our priority. To ensure that the content we recommend to people is appropriate for the community, we have begun reducing the spread of posts that are inappropriate but do not go against Instagram’s Community Guidelines and limiting those types of posts from being recommended on our Explore and hashtag pages,” said an Instagram spokesperson in an email to Refinery29.