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Instagram is testing shopping tags on photos and posts


Photo sharing network Instagram will be adding shoppable tags which will display information about products and price on posts. The company is currently testing the feature with a few retailers like Kate Spade, JackThreads and Warby Parker in the United States. This feature will be available to a group of people on iOS devices within the US in the initial phase.

Each post will have a “tap to view” icon at the bottom left of a photo. A tag will appear showcasing up to five products and their prices on various products in the post. Once a tag is selected, a new detailed view of the product will open. Users can tap the ‘shop now’ link which will redirect them to the product on the business website. Note that Instagram does not allow users to shop in-app like Facebook pushes with Messenger, but it might give a peek into its ecommerce foray.

“As we roll out further, we’ll explore product recommendations, ways products are showcased to shoppers, global expansion and the ability to save content so Instagrammers can take an action later,” Instagram added in a blog post.

TechCrunch points out that Instagram will not be taking a cut of the purchases but will be monetizing the feature by allowing brands to pay to show their shoppable photos to people who don’t follow them. Instagram said that it now has 500,000 global advertisers on the platform. The US, Brazil, UK, Australia and Canada are top countries to advertise on the platform. It was acquired by Facebook for $1 billion in 2012 and at last count, it claimed to have 500 million monthly active users.

Google and Pinterest

Google has also been looking at ways to move into ecommerce and earlier last month it said that it would add a buy button on its search results pages for products on mobile devices. The button will appear next to sponsored or paid search results, which are usually on the top of the page, and will be displayed under “Shop on Google”.

Meanwhile, YouTube too has added buy buttons to TrueView ads, where users can click to buy stuff after being redirected to that product page. With the new feature, advertisers can overlay ads with product info, images and links where users can buy them.

Pinterest is testing out “Buyable Pins” marking its foray into ecommerce. The pins new option will have a “Buy” button which allows users to purchase things directly from partners that it’s working for. Users can check  prices, choose colour, and then they can tap the button to buy the product.

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