Instagram, the popular social media site, recently announced that it will be expanding into the retail sales sector. This news comes as the site’s parent company, Facebook, looks for new ways to increase its revenue beyond its current model.
The new feature is called “Checkout Instagram” and will shortly be available to US customers. It will allow users to buy a variety of products using the platform directly. The payment screen and payment information will be stored on the Instagram user’s account.
As explained by the company in a post, “When you tap to view a product from a brand’s shopping post, you’ll see a Checkout on Instagram button on the product page. Tap it to select from various options such as size or colour, then you’ll proceed to payment without leaving Instagram.”
This is an extension of Instagram’s current e-commerce features, which currently allow brands to advertise to potential customers. However, currently, users are directed to the brand’s own website to complete the purchase. This can result in some customers not completing the transaction.
So far, 23 brands have signed up to the new feature and will be rolling it out this week. This includes Nike, H&M, Kylie Cosmetics, Uniqlo, Burberry, and Adidas. It’s expected that more will be added in the coming weeks.
Because of concerns over privacy, Instagram won’t share any of the information with the brands selling on the platform – it will only share the payment information that’s needed for the purchase. Also, brands won’t be able to use it in adverts; they can only use it for newsfeed posts and stories.
Although at the moment this feature is only available to US customers, it’s believed that, if it’s successful, it could be expanded and rolled out to users around the world.