Meta is making it harder to find the Store tab on Instagram with its latest test. In the new test, the Store tab has been removed from the app’s home screen and instead hidden under Settings. The Store tab used to be on the bottom navigation bar.
Some users first reported the change on Twitter, noting that the Notifications tab replaced the Store tab. However, londonbusinessblog.com found that the Messages tab had taken its place, indicating that multiple tests may be underway.
A Meta spokesperson confirmed to londonbusinessblog.com that the company is testing several 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 revenue stream for online sellers. Instagram launched Shops in 2020, giving users more ways to buy products within the app. The Store tab was moved to the home screen later that year, making it easier for creators and small businesses to promote their merchandise. In 2021, Instagram introduced ads in the Store tab.
Removing the Store tab from the main navigation bar may harm some online stores that use Instagram stores as a source of income. While it hasn’t been completely removed from the app, it’s a lot harder to find. However, Instagram has other ways to shop in the app, whether that be in the feed, stories or roles.
It looks like Instagram is getting less aggressive with its ecommerce feature. Instagram informed staff in an internal memo earlier this month that the company would be testing a simpler version of the feature, The information reported. The reason for this was due to a shift in “business priorities,” the memo said.
The Store tab may not have been as successful as Instagram had hoped. Some users those who noticed the test were happy to see the shopping feature removed from their home screen, we noticed.
Meta tested other features this month, including a new monetization feature for creators, a nude filter, and a repost feature.