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Instagram adds Shopping tab to the Explore page along with tool that lets you buy items in Stories


Instagram is doubling down on shopping. 

The social media giant said Monday it’s adding a dedicated tab to its Explore section that’s focused on Shopping and personalized to each user’s interests.

The feature will begin rolling out today and is expected to expand globally over the next few weeks. 

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Instagram is adding a dedicated tab to its Explore tab that's focused on Shopping and personalized based on your interests. The tool will expand globally in the coming weeks

Instagram is adding a dedicated tab to its Explore tab that’s focused on Shopping and personalized based on your interests. The tool will expand globally in the coming weeks

‘Now, when you simply want to shop for fun, you’ll see a channel dedicated to Shopping posts from the brands you follow and brands you might like,’ the firm wrote in a blog post

The Shopping channel is located at the top of the Explore page, along with Instagram’s other Topic channels, which were launched earlier this year. 

Topic channels includes other categories like ‘For You,’ which includes personalized content, as well as Art, Beauty, Sports and Fashion.  

Instagram is further expanding its shopping features so that users can click stickers in Instagram Stories to buy a product.   

The feature was first announced in June for a limited set of users, but now it’s expanding to all users globally. 

Brands can attach a sticker with a shopping bag to their Stories posts and, from there, the user can tap on the sticker to see more information about a product. 

Brands can attach a sticker with a shopping bag to their Stories posts and, from there, the user can tap on the sticker to see more information about a product

The feature was first announced in June for a limited set of users, but now it's expanding to all users globally.

Brands can attach a sticker with a shopping bag to their Stories posts and, from there, the user can tap on the sticker to see more information about a product

‘Now when you’re watching behind-the-scenes Stories from your favorite brands and see something you love, you can quickly tap on a product to learn more,’ the firm said.  

The feature builds on Instagram’s recent efforts to incorporate brands into the feed and Instagram Stories.

Last year, Instagram launched a series of Shopping tools that let brands tag products in their posts that link out to websites.  

The firm says 300 million people use Instagram Stories every day and a recent study found that many watch Stories to ‘stay in the know with brands they’re interested in, get an insider view of products they like, and find out about new products that are relevant to them.’

‘Brands have always been early adopters of stories, they create some of the most viewed and engaging content on the platform,’ the firm wrote in a blog post. 

‘Now, you can shop from select brands in Instagram Stories with more coming soon.’

Instagram announced that it's expanding its shopping features so that users can click certain stickers in Instagram Stories to learn more about a product and even buy it

Instagram announced that it’s expanding its shopping features so that users can click certain stickers in Instagram Stories to learn more about a product and even buy it

The move comes as Instagram could be launching a long-form video service competing with YouTube and Snapchat as early as this month, a report has claimed

The move comes as Instagram could be launching a long-form video service competing with YouTube and Snapchat as early as this month, a report has claimed

CNBC noted that the new feature could have some potential use in video. For example, if a user is watching a video on the platform, they could be given the option to tap on a sticker that gives them more information about the clothes people are wearing in the video.   

The move comes as Instagram is rumored to be launching a standalone Shopping app. 

The app, which could be called ‘IG Shopping,’ would serve as an effort to extend Instagram’s growing influence in the e-commerce market.

It would also allow users to browse and buy products from retailers they follow directly within the IG Shopping app.

Development of the app is still ongoing and it’s unclear when or if it will ever launch. 

HOW DOES INSTAGRAM SHOPPING WORK?

Instagram Shopping, which has been available in the US since October 2017, launched in eight more countries, including the UK, back in March.

Companies must have a business profile, sell physical goods and have a product catalogue through Facebook to use the service.

Sellers can tag up to five products per single image post or 20 products per multi-image post.

Very little has changed to the user interface, with a small bag icon now appearing on posts that have shopping links embedded in them.

When a post using Shopping for Instagram is tapped, it displays popups with prices and a link to a new page.

A ‘Shop Now’ button then directs users to the product page on the brand’s store.



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