Instagram's Next Redesign Aims to Simplify Navigation

You can expect these changes to arrive in February.

Zachary McAuliffe Staff writer
Zach began writing for CNET in November, 2021 after writing for a broadcast news station in his hometown, Cincinnati, for five years. You can usually find him reading and drinking coffee or watching a TV series with his wife and their dog.
Expertise Web hosting | Operating systems | Applications | Software Credentials
  • Apple software beta tester, "Helps make our computers and phones work!" - Zach's grandparents
Zachary McAuliffe
2 min read
Instagram logo on a smartphone with blue background

Instagram is making a few changes to its in-app navigation bar.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Instagram will update its in-app navigation bar in February, after last altering it in 2020. The social media giant said it will add the Compose tab back to the center of the navigation bar, move the Reels tab to the right of Compose and get rid of the Shop tab. 

Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri said in an Instagram post that the changes are designed to make it easier for people to create and connect.

"The idea here is to simplify Instagram and focus it more," Mosseri said Monday. "We're trying to bring people together over what they love."

You will still be able to purchase items on Instagram in Feed, Stories and Reels and in ads.

Instagram last changed its in-app navigation bar in November 2020, adding Shop to the bar and replacing Compose with Reels. Instagram also moved Compose to the top-right corner of the screen.

Instagram changes its features to compete with other apps, like TikTok. However, both regular users and celebrities have criticized the app for becoming too much like TikTok.

That criticism came to a head in July when Instagram said it would pause app changes like full-screen photos and videos.

At the time, Mosseri told Platformer that he was glad Instagram took the risk but thought the company needed to take a step back.

"For the new feed designs, people are frustrated and the usage data isn't great," Mosseri said. "So there I think that we need to take a big step back, regroup, and figure out how we want to move forward."

February's updates are a continuation of the new plan for Instagram. In December, Instagram added a Notes feature and began testing Candid Stories and Group Profiles.

For more on Instagram, check out how Instagram wants to make regaining your hacked account easier

Watch this: How to Delete or Disable Your Instagram Account