Big news for Instagram fans: the app is making a major change to its navigation bar in February. Starting next month, the Create shortcut is moving from the top navigation to the center of the bottom bar, a spot currently occupied by the Reels button. The Reels shortcut will shift to the right, replacing the Shop button.
“But wait,” you’re thinking, “What does that mean for the Instagram Shop tab?” Don’t worry — Instagram shopping isn’t going away entirely.
Users will still be able to access all their favorite shops through Discover or other channels on Instagram (like ads, in-feed posts, Reels, and Stories). This means shoppable content will likely be spread throughout all aspects of the Instagram experience instead of in its own tab.
Instagram head Adam Mosseri announced the upcoming changes in a post on his personal account, saying, “The idea here is to simplify Instagram and focus it more on what we’re trying to do, trying to bring people together over what they love.”
The new navigation (which is actually more like a return to a previous version) is likely a welcome change for users who’ve been vocal in their disappointment about Instagram’s attempts to incorporate TikTok’s most popular features.
But what does this mean for the future of social commerce? And does this mean Instagram isn’t as focused on Reels anymore? We’ll have to wait till February to find out.