Instagram design changes – removing the Shop tab and moving Reels

Instagram have announced changes to come. To make the app easier to navigate and therefore more user friendly, they’re removing the Shop tab completely. They also plan to move the Reels tab from the bottom of the screen. In its place, you’ll see the plus icon.

Instagram homepage view
Credit: Instagram

Instagram have decided to make changes to simplify the way users see the app. The navigation within the platform will become easier, as many users have complained in the past that the app is difficult due to its layout.

The Instagram Shop tab will be removed. Likewise, the Reels tab will be moved. Currently, it’s found at the bottom of the page in the middle of the taskbar. The plus icon which allows users to upload their own content was once in the middle of this bar.

It’s since been moved to the top-right corner. But, now it will be heading back to its previous location. Meaning it’s far easier for users to upload their content. Rather than scrolling back to the top of their homepage, they can instead hit the middle button and start uploading.

Reels will no longer have the best spot?

So, where will the Reels tab go? It will be moved across to the right of the Compose (plus icon) button. It will still be easily accessible, but will no longer be the most important button. When Instagram originally moved the Reels button to the centre, many users weren’t impressed.

They felt they were being forced to use the Reels tab. As if the company’s new products were more important than the overall user experience. Instagram has shown over time that it does listen to its users and value their opinion.

Some users felt Instagram was once again trying to be TikTok. The heavy push of Reels added to this. While TikTok might be growing in popularity, Instagram users enjoy the platform as it is. There’s no need for any two platforms to be the same.

Photos are still a priority?

Instagram CEO, Adam Mosseri has ensured users that their photos are a priority. Despite the heavy push on Reels, he wanted users to know images are still an important part of the app. This is where the new design comes in. It will revert the app back to the former version, which users preferred.

The platform previously tested removing the Instagram Shop tab on a small number of users. This seemed to prove popular which is why they’re now implementing this for all accounts. Removing this tab doesn’t mean brands will no longer be able to sell through Instagram.

Instead, they have assured Instagram users that they’ll still be able to set up shops and run them through the platform. It’s not yet clear exactly what this will look like. Perhaps it will be a case of brands selling through the links on their photos, rather than having an entire shopping tab covering the whole platform.

These changes will be visible for all users from February 2023. As the platform continues to develop, it seems they’re aiming to put the user experience at the top of their priorities. Will it now take users a while to get used to the old view again? After all, we haven’t seen it since 2020.

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