Instagram is poised to remove the shopping tab from Instagram’s navigation pane in a shift back towards content creation.
Instagram has updated its Help Center page to reflect the change, which is slated to start rolling out in February.
“We are changing Instagram’s navigation to make it easier for people to share and connect with their friends and interests,” the social media company explains. “The navigation bar at the bottom of the app will now have the shortcut for creating content in the center and Reels to the right.”
As part of this change, the Instagram Shop tab is being removed.
“You will still be able to set up and run your shop on Instagram as we continue to invest in shopping experiences that provide the most value for people and businesses across feed, stories, reels, ads, and more.”
While that might be easy to interpret as a return to Instagram’s heyday, the reason for the shift is due to a need for the company to make more reliable income.
As reported by The Information, the Meta-owned social media company is planning to drastically scale back its e-commerce shopping features and shift its focus back to the features that drive advertising revenue. The decision, which was explained to employees via an internal memo, went on to explain that the existing Shopping page will eventually be phased out entirely.
That said, shopping will still be a feature of Instagram, it will just be less prioritized as the company is planning to test a simpler, less personalized version. These changes are part of a “new Northstar and goals for the commerce organization that are more directly tied to advertising revenue for Meta,” the company told its team.
Instagram has spent significant resources bolstering its internal e-commerce features over the last couple of years in addition to adding the shop button to the main navigation. It gave users the ability to tag brands in photos that link to a shop page and provided the ability to shop inside of chats in the last year alone, but The Verge reports the company was already testing a main feed without a shopping button as far back as last September.
At some point and for quite a while, Instagram clearly thought that there was a lot of money to be made in e-commerce on the platform, but priorities have recently changed as its parent company struggles with monumental losses associated with poor business decisions — namely the huge investment into the Metaverse, which has so far utterly flopped.
Image credits: Header photo licensed via Depositphotos.