Back in 2018, Instagram introduced new shopping features in its mobile app to let users buy products they see in photos and videos. The company even added a new Shop tab to the home screen of its app in 2020 as an attempt to push these features further. However, Instagram is now taking a step back as it will soon remove the Shop tab from its app.
Instagram to discontinue its Shop tab
As reported by The Verge, Meta confirmed that the Shop tab is going away from the Instagram app in a support article. The change will be rolled out in February, and the company says it will make it easier for people to “share and connect with their friends and interests.” The button to create a new post on Instagram will be placed in the center of the tab bar, with the Reels button to the right.
But the news doesn’t come as a surprise. The Information had reported back in September that Instagram was “planning to drastically scale back” its shopping features. The company told its employees that it is shifting its efforts from e-commerce to the advertising business, which is where Meta’s main revenue comes from.
But that doesn’t mean that shopping features will be completely removed from Instagram. The company makes it clear that it will continue to invest in the shopping experience within the Instagram app for people and businesses.
Starting in February, we are changing Instagram’s navigation to make it easier for people to share and connect with their friends and interests. 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 will be 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.
Interestingly, the Shop tab was introduced along with the Reels tab during the COVID-19 pandemic. Instagram has said in the past that it believed more people would be willing to buy online and that the Shop tab would be a great opportunity for small businesses to reach new customers. While this is true, the Shop tab clearly hasn’t become as popular as the Reels tab.
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