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New Instagram features focus on in-app shopping

Instagram pound

New Instagram features focus on in-app shopping

Popular photo platform Instagram is set to continue in growing its online shopping vision with the introduction of three new product updates.

While on the platform, users are soon going to be able to shop for products that can be seen in the videos appearing in their feeds. They will also be able to save items to a specific section of the site to be known as the “shopping collection” and they will be able to shop from business profiles on the app much more easily.

The introduction of these features highlights that Instagram is looking to create a more immersive platform, where users can get more from the platform than browsing photos. It has also timed the announcement well, suggesting that users can shop through the app in time for the festive period.

The new section of the app for saving posts too will be part of the ‘saved posts’ section and will somewhat resemble on online store. However, this will be full of items that the user has specifically bookmarked as something they potentially want to purchase. These posts will all be arranged in tidy rows, similar to the usual way posts are displayed in a user’s profile.

The addition of this feature will not mean that Instagram will essentially become a combination of a social platform and online catalogue, as only certain posts will be considered as shopping posts. Instagram has said that not every brand will opt into a business page that specifically allows them to sell to customers through their business profile.

It is only recently that the app has allowed business profiles to tag the stories they post with products, and they now have the ability to do this with videos posted to the main Instagram feed. This makes it much easier for a user to learn more about an item they see in a post that they want to buy. This now applies to both the storyboard along the top of the app and content appearing in the main feed. If the user sees something they like, they can then click through to learn more about the product and potentially purchase it without having to leave Instagram.

Business profiles that do become part of this new shopping vision will see a slight change in the layout of the app. This is so that all of the shoppable posts made will be organised under a specific ‘shop’ button. This is to make it easier for users, as they can use these business profiles in a similar way to an actual online store, where everything they see is available for them to purchase, eliminating any confusion in distinguishing shoppable and non-shoppable posts.

Alan Littler

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