Instagram has changed its approach to e-commerce by experimenting with home feeds without a shopping tab.
A few Instagram users recently noticed that the shopping tab, which was formerly on the bottom navigation bar, has been replaced with a notifications tab. This includes some of us here at The Verge. In the meantime, shopping has been relocated to a second menu and is hidden among items like settings and saved posts.
A limited test of the improvements was confirmed by a spokesman for Meta, Anne Yeh.
“We are testing a few modifications to the main navigation bar at the bottom of the app with a small number of individuals,” Yeh explains. “This is part of our ongoing work to simplify your Instagram experience.”
Instagram made a deliberate choice to move the tab as the business turns away from features for online shopping. The Information reported earlier this month that Instagram is altering its strategy for e-commerce, including doing away with the button that takes users to the purchasing page in March 2023, in accordance with an internal document. According to The Information, Instagram shopping will instead concentrate more on increasing Meta’s ad revenue, and the company will try a less customized shopping tab known as “Tab Lite.”
In an effort to turn its platform into a location where users can buy the things they see on their feed without leaving the app, Instagram has been introducing features like the shop tab over the past few years. Although many users use Instagram to find new companies and goods, it’s not known how effective the shopping page was at any given time.
Nevertheless, Meta has kept releasing additional shopping-related features, such as a messaging update that enables business owners to manage customer care through direct messages (DMs).
According to Meta’s Yeh, “Commerce is still crucial for Instagram as we continue to make it simpler for users to discover and shop products throughout the whole app from feed, stories, reels, and innovations like live shopping and drops.”
Other systems have attempted to answer the question of how to commercialize shopping, with varied degrees of success. TikTok has experimented with live shopping and product sites. Live shopping is extremely successful in China but reportedly failed to catch on in Europe, prompting the business to scale back its expansion plans. However, internal records indicate that upgrades were hurriedly implemented and posed dangers for content moderation. Twitter, on the other hand, has offered features like product release reminders and a store module for firms to promote what they’re selling.