Instagram is testing a few different layouts these days. Over the past week, my direct message and profile icons swapped places then went back, and a new sidebar showed up on my profile tab, disappeared, and reappeared again. Now it seems that this last iteration is showing up for more users, so let's take a look at it.
The Instagram profile tab's top bar was starting to get crowded with icons. There are ones for your settings, your story archive, your saved/bookmarked posts (in some UI iterations), and the recommended accounts for you to discover. In its latest test, Instagram is taking all but your story archive and putting them under a new side menu that you access either by tapping the top right icon or by swiping from the right side of the screen.
Left: Old profile tab with icons on top. Middle & right: New UI with swipeable side menu.
The profile tab looks a little less crowded now and opens up room for more additions to that menu, but it does make saved collections and settings just a little bit harder to access. If you're not used to it, you may even miss the Settings on the bottom of the menu. Plus, this adds another inconsistent swipe action in Instagram. We'll have to remember what swiping right and left does in every tab now.
As with most things Instagram, this is a server-side test. We're seeing the new side tab on both version 59 (stable) and 60 (beta) of the app, but we also have a device on v59 that has the previous interface with all the icons and no menu. So your mileage may vary, and Instagram might decide this isn't something that people use and roll it back.
- Jeffrey Ooi