Instagram Rolls Out 3 New Features to Make Shopping Even Easier

No standalone app, though

Instagram wants to capture shoppers even if their intent to buy something isn't clear. Instagram
Headshot of Ann-Marie Alcántara

Just in time for the holidays, Instagram is releasing three new features to keep consumers scrolling through the app—and potentially completing a purchase.

The updates include a new collection tab to save products tagged in stories or in posts; the ability to shop from videos; and a new shop tab on business pages where consumers can visit and see all of the shoppable products the company’s used in a shopping post. According to Layla Amjadi, product manager at Instagram, all of these tools lend themselves to what the company believes are two types of shopping: “serendipitous and window.”

“People consistently cite that one of their favorite things to do on Instagram is to shop,” Amjadi said. “Everyone is finding different ways to shop on Instagram.”

If consumers see a product in stories or in a post, they can tap a “save” icon in the bottom right corner to save it to their shopping collection (which is debuting globally to all users today). Currently, brands cannot see what products are saved.

Shopping from videos is rolling out as part of a beta with select businesses and will extend to every company by end of year. Amjadi said this tool is a “very important part of the shopping journey on Instagram,” since many beauty brands already use the format as a means to show a product on different skin tones, as well as how to apply it. Now, other categories such as apparel are starting to test it out as well.

Rounding out the shopping experience is the ability to shop directly from a new tab on a brand’s business page. Coming to every shopping brand by the end of the year, consumers can head to the tab and see what’s available to shop; if the product was once in a post, they can see the original photo and how the product was styled or used.

While Amjadi said these features are intended to reduce the friction of shopping on Instagram, the company still hasn’t rolled out anything to support digital wallets or save shipping information.

In September, the company rolled out a shopping explore tab on the app and shopping in Instagram stories. The company revealed then that more than 90 million Instagram users are tapping on posts to see what products tagged every month.

The latest updates come after co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger left the company in September. Brands and industry experts think their departures signal that the app will roll out more monetization features in the future.

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@itstheannmarie annmarie.alcantara@adweek.com Ann-Marie Alcántara is a tech reporter for Adweek, focusing on direct-to-consumer brands and ecommerce.
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