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Instagram's redesigned home screen ditches the shopping tab

The 'create' button is back where it once was.

Tom Weller/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Were you irked that Instagram's shopping obsession relegated the "new post" button to a corner? You're not alone. Instagram has revealed a home screen refresh, due in February, that axes the Shop tab and moves the Create button back to the center of the bottom navigation bar. That, in turn, shunts the Reels tab to the side.

The social network's Adam Mosseri added in a video that shopping will still exist in your feed, Reels, Stories and ads. There just won't be a dedicated tab for it. The section usually offers targeted recommendations to encourage shopping beyond the usual mid-feed offerings.

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Instagram started testing the new design in September. In a video announcing the rollout, Mosseri characterized the refresh as a bid to "simplify" the service and focus on connecting people to the "things they love." Insta is remembering that it's a social network, to put it bluntly.

However, the change may also be part of a larger strategy shakeup. As The Verge notes, The Information claimed to have seen an internal memo in September indicating that Instagram would cut many of its shopping features. Instead, the site would concentrate on commerce efforts that are "more directly tied" to ad revenue. Simply put, the shopping push doesn't appear to have helped — this would boost Meta's bottom line as it pivots to the metaverse.

There's also the matter of competition. TikTok, the inspiration for numerous Instagram features, still features a prominent "new post" button. That placement isn't a guarantee of success, of course, but that platform has continued to thrive in spite of Instagram. It had about 1.64 billion monthly active users as of October, according to Data.ai figures. The Instagram rethink might encourage more posts, not to mention give would-be converts a more familiar experience.