Instagram is said to be taking a refresh look at shopping features on Instagram and will be releasing its own standalone shopping app in the near future, at least according to The Verge. According to the report, the app, which will be called IG Shopping, is going to allow its users to check out collections of goods from merchants that they already follow. Users will also be able to purchase these goods directly from within the app. The Verge was unable to find out when the app will be launching, as development is still ongoing here, and of course like with all things in tech, the app could get canned before it is even released. But its sources believe that Instagram is well-positioned to make a major expansion into shopping and e-commerce.
Currently, Instagram does have some shopping tools available on its platform. Allowing users to add pop ups onto their pictures that will take them to a site to buy the particular product. However that is pretty limited and not part of a section that is dedicated solely to shopping. It is also only available to pages of actual businesses, and not individual users. Now Instagram is looking to expand those features, and really become a major player in e-commerce.
Instagram, like any social media website, is always looking for the next big feature to get its users to spend more time on the platform, as that does increase ad spending and revenue. However with this new shopping app, its unclear whether Instagram will be taking a stake in sales that are converted from the app or Instagram's platform in general. Though it wouldn't be surprising for Instagram to do so. This would also open up another set of ads that Instagram could profit from. It's still unclear what Instagram might do when it comes to shopping, but it is definitely looking to see what can be done.