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Instagram helps its users go shopping


In addition to posting, liking and commenting on photos, Instagram users now can also purchase from their favorite brands.

Starting Tuesday, Nov. 1, the mobile-driven social site added shoppable tags on photos from 20 retail brands, including Kate Spade, Warby Parker and JackThreads, among others — a move that will enable consumers to learn more about the items they view within an Instagram post, and even make a purchase.

Building on its users’ desire to do their homework before purchasing merchandise, “this test gives our community valuable steps to find more information along their shopping journey before they make a purchase,” according to the Instagram for Business blog.

As users hit a “tap to view” icon at the bottom left of a photo, a product name and price tag will appear on up to five products in the post. Once a tag is selected, more details are revealed, further engaging the shopper di-rectly through the Instagram app. By tapping the detail page’s “Shop Now” link, they are directed to that product on the retailer’s website, where they can buy the merchandise.

“This test is going to change the scope of what we, as retailers, are capable of offering on mobile,” said Ryan McIntyre, chief marketing officer, JackThreads. “Instead of having to transition over to the JackThreads app, our customers will be able to shop seamlessly from their social me-dia feeds — allowing us to reach guys where they’re already hunting for what’s new.”

During this initial phase, Instagram will make the new features available to a dedicated group of iOS device users within the United States. “As we roll out further, we’ll explore product recommendations, ways products are showcased to shoppers, global expansion, and the ability to save con-tent so Instagrammers can take an action later,” the blog said. “We want to understand how to deliver the most seamless shopping experience for consumers and businesses on Instagram, and ultimately mobile.”

Instagram did not reveal when it would launch these enhancements, or any fees collected from participating retailers.

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