Instagram Changing its Shopping Feature to Remove Shopping Tab

Social and Digital Media
instagram 02.09.23

Meta, the parent company behind Instagram, has recently announced that starting in February, the shopping tab will be removed from Instagram’s navigation bar. This change to the social media platform will alter the way that users are able to access the commerce capabilities of the app. It will also impact businesses, specifically smaller businesses, who have adapted their marketing strategy to rely on this feature.

Instagram’s Changes

Over the last year, Instagram has made several changes to its social commerce features. For example, in April the company expanded the product tagging option so it could be used by everyone, and then in May the company celebrated the anniversary of the new in-app shopping feature with a pop-up event. In July, Instagram launched a new feature allowing companies and consumers to complete transactions using the direct messaging feature on the platform, and in August Facebook shut down their live shopping capabilities. According to Meta, the behavior patterns of consumers showed that many users preferred to see short-form video content on the platform, such as Reels, over making purchases. Meta stated that the Shop tab on Facebook would be replaced with the Reels tab, while the button for creating and sharing content would be returning to the center of the platform’s navigation bar. 

The Impact

The shop tab on Instagram was first added back in 2020, as a replacement for the activity tab and was met with heavy criticism from users. While the shop tab will be disappearing this February, companies will still have the capability to create their own shops on Instagram. While improving shopping capabilities inside the platform is going to continue to be a key element of Instagram’s strategy, the company wants to encourage users to create and engage customers with more original content. Competitor platforms are still figuring out their own social commerce features and capabilities, and Instagram’s goal behind this change is to improve the customer experience and app navigation.

The changes will impact the way that companies operate and generate sales through Instagram, especially for companies that have a high reliance on such features. However, companies will still be able to reach their target audiences on the platform, and one of the best ways that they can compensate is by asking them to subscribe to a company’s email newsletter. This way, not only will businesses generate first-party data about their customers, but they’ll also create more authentic and trusting relationships too.

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