Instagram is working on a standalone app dedicated to shopping, two people familiar with the matter told The Verge. The app, which may be called IG Shopping, will let shoppers browse and purchase items from retailers they follow. Instagram declined to comment.
The app is still under development, and could still be canceled before release. However, sources claimed Instagram believes it is in a good position to make a splash in e-Commerce and that the company sees expanded opportunities for revenue.
Retail presents a serious opportunity for social media platforms: 76% of consumers have purchased a product they saw in a brand's social media post, according to Curalate. About half of these purchases are ultimately made online — 11% of shoppers made the purchase immediately, a habit enabled by options such as Instagram’s Shoppable Tags, while 44% purchased the item online at a later date.
Instagram has more than one billion active users, according to Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg in the company’s latest earnings call. Four out of five users follow at least one business, and 25 million businesses already have Instagram accounts, including two million advertisers
The social media platform already is taking steps to capitalize on its retail potential. The company began testing out a shopping feature in November 2016, which became more widely available in March 2017. The service lets retailers tag photos on Instagram, letting users shop through photos and Instagram Stories.
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