Instagram has revealed that its in-app shopping cart will soon be available on its short-form video feature, Reels. The update also gives users from around the world the ability to shop on IGTV.
Instagram Becomes Even More Shop-Like
In a post on Instagram, Justin Osofsky, COO of Instagram, announced the changes coming to Instagram’s in-app shopping experience.
Now, all Instagram users can shop on IGTV, Instagram’s long-form video feature. This gives creators the chance to show off products in a video, all while viewers have easy access to a shopping cart.
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We’re excited to take some steps forward today to help Creators and small businesses make a living on Instagram. Now you can shop right on IGTV. 🛍 🎥 And later this year we’ll start testing shopping on Reels. We want to make it easier to find products you love while supporting your favorite Creators and small businesses.
In the above Instagram post, Osofsky explains the thinking behind the new shopping integration. He said that Instagram wants “to make it easier to find products you love while supporting your favorite Creators and small businesses.”
When creators tag products in their video, Instagram will display those items in a clean product lineup. Users can then easily browse through the retailer’s selection.
If a user decides to buy a product, they can choose whether to conveniently buy it from Instagram, or they can opt to purchase it through the retailer’s website.
The platform stated that it will start testing shopping on Reels as well. Reels is Instagram’s attempt at competing with TikTok, and adding a shopping feature could help give Reels the leg-up it needs.
After all, TikTok lacks a real monetization feature, and a built-in shopping feature just might attract more TikTok creators over to Reels.
Instagram first introduced its in-app checkout feature in 2019, and it now seems that the app is becoming even more commerce-focused. The platform plans on integrating a shopping tab on Instagram’s home page layout too, making it hard to escape the retail portion of the app.
That said, the added shopping prompts might prove to be distracting to users who aren’t planning on going on an Instagram shopping spree.
The Future of Shopping on Instagram
It’s hard to imagine Instagram as a platform that focuses so heavily on retail. With the opportunity to purchase products now embedded in IGTV (and soon in Reels), it puts even more pressure on users to spend money. Money they may not have. Soon, a goofy cat Reels might become an advertisement for cat toys.
On the other hand, this might be a welcome change for creators. Some retailers use Instagram to build their brand, and these new shopping features may give them another opportunity to grow. Plus, it also gives users the chance to support their favorite creators.