Meta is making Instagram’s Shop tab harder to find with its latest test. In the new test, the Store tab has been removed from the app’s home screen and is instead hidden under Settings. The Shop tab used to be on the bottom navigation bar.
Some users first announced the change on Twitter, saying that the Notifications tab had replaced the Store tab. However, TechCrunch found that the News tab took the spotlight instead, suggesting that several tests may be underway.
A Meta spokesperson confirmed to TechCrunch that the company is testing different versions.
“As part of our ongoing work to simplify your Instagram experience, we’re testing a few changes to the main navigation bar at the bottom of the app with a small number of people,” they told us.
Social media has become a valuable source of income for online retailers. Instagram launched Stores in 2020, giving users more ways to purchase products within the app. The Shop tab was moved to the home screen later that year, making it easier for creators and small businesses to promote their wares. In 2021, Instagram introduced ads on the Shop tab.
Removing the Store tab from the main navigation bar could hurt some online stores that use Instagram Stores as a source of revenue. Even if it’s not completely removed from the app, it’s much harder to find. However, Instagram has other ways to make in-app purchases, whether in the feed, stories, or reels.
Instagram seems to be getting less aggressive with its e-commerce feature. Instagram alerted employees in an internal memo earlier this month that the company would be testing a simpler version of the feature, The Information reported. The reason was a shift in the company’s “priorities,” the memo said.
It’s possible that the Shop tab wasn’t as successful as Instagram had hoped. Some users We noticed that those who noticed the test were happy to have the shopping feature removed from their home screens.
The meta has been testing other features this month, including a new monetization feature for creators, a nudity filter, and a repost feature.