Instagram is reportedly working on a new standalone e-commerce app according to The Verge. IG Shopping will allow users to browse and buy products directly from the merchants on the app. This doesn’t come as too much of a surprise because Instagram has recently been introducing shopping-related features to the app.
Instagram announced back in 2016 that they were introducing their first shopping feature to the app. The feature allowed 20 retailers in the US to tag products in their photos. This meant users could find out more information about products and have a link to the website to buy. This was then rolled out to more retailers in 2017.
In June, Instagram announced they were expanding their shopping feature to Instagram Stories. As with their feature for posts, Instagram introduced a shopping bag icon for select brands. This allowed them to add to their stories to show more details with a link to the website to buy. Facebook announced in July that this feature will be available for all brands during the holiday season.
Could Instagram be preparing for IG Shopping?
Instagram may already be preparing for the rumoured IG Shopping app. TechCrunch spotted in May that native payments were quietly added to the app for some users. This new feature will allow users to buy on the app without having to leave to another website. This has been happening with their previous shopping features. Instagram confirmed to TechCrunch that native payments have been introduced to allow users to book appointments at restaurants or salons. This could be Instagram testing their new payment system before launching the IG Shopping app.
Previous stand-alone Instagram apps
This will not be the first time that Instagram has launched a stand-alone app. IGTV was launched in June and hasn’t taken off like Instagram would have hoped. Unlike IGTV, the rumoured IG Shopping app is likely to be familiar for retailers already using the current shopping features. This should help with its success.
There has been no comment from Instagram regarding the rumoured app and therefore there is no release date. If Instagram does announce the IG Shopping app, it is likely to be a big hit with users and retailers.
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