Instagram is fast becoming a bigger social media product than its mothership Facebook. Waning interest in Facebook has spelt success for Instagram which now has over 1 billion users sharing at photos and videos on its platform. One of the most common sight on Instagram is creators advertising merchandise and products. From makeup to clothes, to smartphones, to human remains! Instagram has become the platform of choice for businesses to advertise and sell their products. Currently, Instagram allows businesses to sell products through posts that redirect users to merchant websites and the platform is even testing shopping on Instagram beyond the feed by using product stickers in Instagram Stories. Some businesses in the US are even accepting transactions through Instagram’s recently launched payments feature.
Now, it seems like Facebook wants to leverage Instagram’s growing popularity to bring in additional revenues for the company. According to The Verge, Facebook is working on a dedicated shopping app for Instagram which will allow users to buy products directly within the app, without the need to visit a separate merchant site. Yes, Instagram may soon have an official marketplace called ‘IG Shopping’ where buyers and sellers can conduct business. However, there is no certainty on when this app will launch or if it will launch at all. The publication notes, “sources familiar with its development say Instagram believes it is well positioned to make a major expansion into e-commerce”.
Instagram already has more than 25 million businesses and 2 million advertisers on the platform. So a dedicated shopping app seems like a natural next move for the platform and the move seems to be in line with Facebook’s strategy to grow offshoots of Instagram. We recently saw the launch of IGTV, a dedicated Instagram app for video creators. So, the name ‘IG Shopping’ sounds quite believable for the dedicated marketplace app.