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In February 2023, Instagram is rolling out a redesigned navigation that intends to make it simpler for users to find what they are looking for and better connect people through content. Additionally, shopping has been de-priortised in order to prioritise the user experience. Brands and users alike may ask: how will this new initiative change their overall engagement with the platform?

New Navigation Design

The new navigation changes will include the removal of the Shop menu and the introduction of a new shortcut for creating content in the center of the screen. Additionally, the Reels feature will be moved to the right-hand side, making it more easily accessible for users. These changes aim to streamline the user experience and prioritize the creation and discovery of content on the platform.

Impact on Shopping Experience

Instagram has deprioritised shopping on the platform, shifting the focus back to the user experience. This change means that the shopping feature will no longer be as prominent on the platform, however, it’s important to note that the change is not removing the feature entirely. The shopping feature can still be used through Feed, Reels, Stories and ads, it’s just not front and centre anymore. Brands can still use Instagram to drive sales, but they will have to be more creative in how they use the platform to do so.

Our Opinion

This move by Instagram to deprioritise shopping and focus on bringing people together through content is a positive change for users. It should provide a better overall user experience, as the platform will no longer be as cluttered with shopping posts. It will also allow for a greater variety of content, as users will be able to discover and engage with new content more easily.

For brands, it may mean that they may have to change their strategy on using e-commerce on the platform, and look to create engaging content that will allow them to connect with their audience. This shift could also potentially see a return of photos making a comeback in Instagram in 2023, with an emphasis on visual storytelling, authenticity, and connection. Coupled with Instagram’s new Quiet Mode, the platform is shaking up the user experience early in the new year.

Reels content will continue to likely have the highest content priority. Brands will have to be more creative in how they use Reels to connect with their audience and drive sales, but this change could also provide new opportunities for brands to stand out on the platform.

Overall, the new navigation design rolling out in February 2023 should be a positive change that will improve the user experience on Instagram. The new design is expected to be more intuitive and easy to use, which should make it easier for users to navigate the platform and discover new content. While the changes to the shopping experience may mean that brands will need to shift their focus, it’s expected it will ultimately lead to a better user experience for all. It will be interesting to see how these changes will affect the platform in the future, and whether it will see the return of photos making a comeback in Instagram in 2023.