Instagram Is Pulling Back From Shopping

The social-media giant, owned by Meta, is booting the shopping tab from the home feed of the app.
The Instagram app icon seen on an iPhone.
  • Instagram is pulling back from e-commerce.
  • The social-media giant is kicking its shopping tab out of the app.
  • While shopping features will still be available, The Information previously reported e-commerce is less of a focus for the Meta-owned company. 

Instagram appears to be shifting its focus away from e-commerce as it redesigns key elements of its mobile app. 

The social media giant Instagram (owned by Facebook's parent company Meta) in February will reorganize the buttons at the bottom of its home feed, removing the shopping button entirely, Instagram announced in a post on its website. The company reportedly plans to replace the shopping button with one that takes users to its video platform, Reels. The center button in the app will once again become the button users click to make a new post. Instagram first started adding the shopping tab to Instagram users’ phones in 2020.

“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,” Instagram said in the post to its website.

The move to remove the shopping option comes several months after The Information reported that Instagram was poised to scale back its e-commerce ambitions. The company last fall reportedly told staffers it would move away from e-commerce and shift to more projects that directly drove advertising revenue for the company. The retailer planned to eliminate its existing shopping tab altogether, according to The Information, though it still plans to have some, less-personalized shopping options for users.

The change for the Meta-owned platform seems to buck larger industry trends that meld together shopping and social-media platforms. As Retail Leader previously reported, Instagram competitor TikTok is working to grow an e-commerce platform in the U.S. after having success internationally. The e-commerce giant Amazon late last year launched a new interactive shopping experience inside the Amazon mobile app. The experience, which started rolling out in December, creates a feed of photos and videos that feature products that shoppers can purchase without leaving the section, dubbed Inspire, according to Amazon.