In February, Instagram will undergo a design overhaul with the removal of its shop tab, signifying a shift back to content creation. 

According to Instagram’s Help Center, the reason behind the removal of the shopping tab is, “to make it easier for people to share and connect with their friends and interests.” While the shopping feature will still be available, it won’t have its prime real estate position on the app anymore. Instagram concludes with, “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.” 

The removal of the shop tab could have underlying meanings and potential impacts.


In 2020, Instagram Shopping replaced the Activity tab, giving major retailers the ability to sell products through images, videos, reels and advertisements within the app. 

The shop feature was born out of Instagram users who were already using the platform to find new things to buy. With the significant rise of social media influencers promoting and encouraging their followers to make recommended purchases, as well as personalized Instagram advertisements, the shop feature became a culmination of both. 

This feature signified the app’s shift away from content creation and into e-commerce. 


Are There Underlying Reasons for This Change? 

With the removal of the shopping tab, your Instagram homepage will begin to look a little different.The Help Center states, “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.” 

So why make this change after Instagram’s major push for an in-app e-commerce experience? 


Potential Loss of Profit 

The removal of the tab could be an indication that the Shop feature has not been as profitable as expected. 

Instagram poured many resources into strengthening its e-commerce presence since its launch by adding the shop button to the main navigation bar. The platform gave users the ability to tag products and link to a brand’s Instagram shop. Instagram also created a feature where users can chat with businesses (via direct messaging) and shop within the respective chat. According to Yahoo Finance, Instagram will reportedly begin shifting its e-commerce efforts toward ad revenue. With going all in on a feature that, in return, didn’t garner the engagement the app expected, it’s not surprising to see the app try a new approach. 


How This Change Could Impact Business? 

Small Brands and Individual Sellers May Suffer

Larger retailers have mainly used their social media accounts to drive their audiences back to their own respective websites and apps, from there they garner sales on their own platforms – not on Instagram. Smaller businesses and individual sellers may be hit hardest by this change due to a lack of resources outside of Instagram.

Return to User-Created Content

As of late, Instagram has dealt with criticisms of not prioritizing what made it so popular – images! With the removal of the shop tab and both the content creation and Reels tab taking center stage, this could potentially be Instagram’s way of returning to form. 

While Instagram doesn’t plan to abandon their shopping platform altogether, it will be interesting to see how they maneuver the world of e-commerce moving forward. 


Blufish knows all about the ever changing world of social media and we want to help your business navigate the currents. Contact us today to learn more!

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