Starting this coming week, Instagram users will be able to test a new feature on this photo and video sharing application.
The Facebook-owned social networking platform made this information public earlier this week, something that should bring it close to what the likes of Facebook Messenger or even WeChat from China already offer.
Instagram will be testing the new in-app shopping feature on 20 U.S. retail brands and according to the participants, the feature will allow them numerous possibilities for selling their products to a crowd of over 400 million people from all over the world. The feature is expected to give users a seamless experience when shopping, eliminating the need to check out of the app so as to proceed with making purchases for products advertised via the platform.
In the current version of Instagram, users are usually redirected to other e-commerce platforms whenever they come across a post that is selling products. With the new feature, this will be no more as everything will be accessible right from within the app. Instagram says that each post from partnering brands will come with an option to tap and view the products being sold. When you tap on this icon, each product in the post will get a tag showcasing its price. Selecting this tag will open up a detailed preview for the product in question and when you tap on “Shop now”, the updated Instagram app will allow you make a purchase. It is only at this point that you can be redirected to another platform for completing the transaction.
In essence, what this feature aims at giving Instagram users is an easy time when scrolling through various products that a company is selling without being redirected to the company’s retail page. The first roll out to select iOS users in the U.S. is expected to happen once the company is done with consumer research. The company has also promised to add more perks to this feature once a public version is ready.
Even though it has been confirmed for U.S. users as well as the rest of the world, it is not known when the global rollout will begin. Nonetheless, the many brands that are already using Instagram to showcase the products they sell may find a lot of meaning in this feature.