Instagram to Test In-App Purchases

Instagram is testing out a new feature just in time for the holiday season. As more people turn to social media for shopping inspiration, both holiday and otherwise, social media platforms are looking for ways to cash in on the trend more directly. Partnering with a number of brands, including J. Crew, Warby Parker, Abercrombie & Fitch, Kate Spade, Macy’s, Michael Kors and more, users will be able to purchase select items by clicking on special tags placed on items. Users will then be able to check out within the app.

Though newer to the realm of e-commerce, this follows the general strategy social platforms are adopting to ensure that users stay within their apps instead of being re-directed to clunky browsers or other third party apps. Links clicked within the Facebook app, for instance, open in a “browser” within the Facebook app so the entire experience is more self-contained.

Instagram isn’t alone in their push towards in-app purchases. Recently, parent company Facebook made their new peer-to-peer Marketplace a prominent feature in their mobile app, replacing the Messenger icon at the bottom with the Marketplace icon. Though they have explored B2C commerce with the ability to integrate Shopify-powered stores on Facebook, it never particularly took off and the Marketplace certainly serves as the precursor for future e-commerce developments.

If the pilot proves to be a success, perhaps Instagram will extend the feature to all users. With immense potential use for influencers, all eyes will be on Facebook and Instagram to see how e-commerce plays out in the future of social platforms.

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Photo and Video Courtesy of: JoshConstine