It has been reported that Instagram is reducing the number of shopping features available on its platform in order to concentrate more of the company's e-commerce efforts on those that directly drive advertising.
According to a report in a technology publication called The Information, which cited an internal company memo, the employees of the company were informed of the change in the company's direction and were informed that the platform's existing shopping page would eventually be removed.
Instagram is a photo and video sharing social networking service that was founded in 2010 by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger and was later acquired by the American company Facebook Inc., now known as Meta Platforms.
A woman using the Instagram app on her phone
Users can upload media to the app, which can then be edited with filters and organized using hashtags and geographical tagging. Posts can be shared with the general public or with pre-approved followers. Users can view trending content, like photos, and follow other users to add their content to a personal feed.
To match the display width of the iPhone at the time, Instagram initially distinguished itself by allowing content to be framed only in a square (1:1) aspect ratio of 640 pixels. This limitation was eased in 2015 with an increase to 1080 pixels.
It also added messaging features, the ability to include multiple images or videos in a single post, and a Stories feature, which allowed users to post their content to a sequential feed, with each post accessible to others for 24 hours, similar to its main competitor Snapchat. As of January 2019, 500 million people used Stories on a daily basis.
Instagram was first released for iOS in October 2010 and quickly gained popularity, with one million registered users in two months, ten million in a year, and one billion by June 2018.
Facebook Inc. purchased the service in April 2012 for approximately $1 billion in cash and stock. The Android version was released in April 2012, with a feature-limited desktop interface released in November 2012, a Fire OS app released in June 2014, and a Windows 10 app released in October 2016.
Over 40 billion photos had been uploaded as of October 2015. Instagram has been praised for its success and influence, but it has also been chastised for its negative impact on teen mental health, policy and interface changes, alleged censorship, and illegal and inappropriate content uploaded by users.
Instagram announced a series of updates in July 2022, which were met with widespread criticism from its user base.
Changes included a feed that was more focused on Instagram's content algorithms, full-screen photo and video posts, and switching the format of all videos to Reels. The main criticism leveled at these updates was that they made Instagram more like TikTok than photo sharing.
According to the statement made by the company, it is still the company's goal to evolve into the user community's preferred location for searching for and purchasing products.
Two boxes that have The Instagram app design
According to Insider, a spokesperson for Instagram's parent company, Meta, stated that commerce remains important for Instagram as they continue to make it easier for people to discover and shop products throughout the app from feed, stories, reels and innovations like live shopping and drops.
Additionally, this change comes shortly after Meta reported in July that it had experienced its very first decrease in revenue throughout its entire history.
The decline in revenue for Meta was caused by a decline in the digital advertising market, which was also experienced by competitors such as Alphabet, which is the parent company of Google, and Snap.
TikTok, a competing mobile application, has also been giving Instagram a run for its money recently.
In response to a few of these challenges, Meta made an announcement the week before last that it was testing a number of paid features across all of its platforms, including Instagram. This newsis in line with announcements that Mark Zuckerberg made back in June.
Mr. Zuckerberg had previously stated that the company would be rolling out more ways for creators to make money on Facebook and Instagram – and sharing updates that will help creators build for the metaverse.
On Facebook, he wrote that he wants platforms like theirs to play a role in making that happen because they believe that in the not-too-distant future, more people will be able to engage in creative work that they find enjoyable.