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It has been six years since Facebook made the crucial decision to purchase the photo-sharing platform Instagram. At the time, it was a zero-revenue company with only 30 million users, but now it has 1 billion active accounts, thanks to its commitment to bring in ever-changing, innovative experiences for customers. Now, Instagram has announced that it will enable customers to shop directly on its platform.
Over the past few years, Instagram has become a photo-sharing and advertising platform. The platform frequently adds functions that enable brands to feature their products and expose users to various methods of “in-app window shopping,” especially when it comes to fashion and cosmetics products. The platform now enables customers to buy items they run into on the feed without leaving the screen.
To purchase an item when they view a brand’s shopping post, users first tap on the image. That will bring up a product tag and price, which customers press on to be directed to a checkout screen similar to what people usually see on ecommerce sites. On this screen, customers can pick different colors and sizes for their items before finalizing orders with email, shipping address, and payment method.
Currently, this shopping feature is only available in the United States for 20 different brands. They include manufacturers of high-end, fast-fashion, and cosmetics products. In addition, users may only purchase one item at a time.
According to metrics from Instagram, 80 percent of users follow at least one business account. These brands are vital sources of revenue for the company. In 2018, there were more than 25 million businesses on the app, 2 million of which run ads using Instagram’s features. An Instagram spokesperson said that the company will introduce a selling fee to fund the checkout feature as well as offset any related costs.
Vishal Shah, Product Management Director of Instagram, calls shopping on the platform “serendipitous shopping” and compares it to seeing a product through a store window. While it’s too early to know, it seems like there will some set of users who love the ease, nobility, and convenience of this new feature.
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