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The social shopping wars are just beginning, and Instagram might be about to take it up a notch.
Facebook Inc’s Instagram is working on building a new standalone shopping app, from which users can browse through goods and buy them directly.
It was not clear when the app would be launched, the report said.
The app would allow users to purchase directly from retailers they follow on Instagram.
Instagram believes it is well positioned to make a major expansion into e-commerce, the report said, citing sources.
Essentially, it is not certain when this new app, which could be called IG Shopping, might launch. As with all apps still in development, there’s always a chance it could be killed before it ever makes it to market.
Instagram declined to comment, but ecommerce experts view the move as yet another sign of the growth of social commerce.
Moreover, if rumors are to be believed, the new app would allow users to browse collections of goods from people and merchants they follow and make purchases from directly within the application.
Further, the release of a shopping application from Instagram comes as Facebook plots a bigger push into e-commerce, and it makes sense to use Instagram as a vehicle for that push.
Instagram app started testing a shopping feature, which allows retailers to tag specific products in photos in November 2016, and it rolled out more widely in March 2017. It has been testing the waters with in-app purchasing for several months now, but this is the first we’ve heard about the company launching a standalone application dedicated to shopping.
Given Instagram’s ties to Facebook, users will undoubtedly be wary about handing over their payment details.
The set-up would not be dissimilar to Amazon, which provides a platform for third-party sellers. It’s an important part of Amazon’s income, generating $9.7 billion of revenue in the second-quarter of 2018, up 40% year-on-year.
Regardless of the type of experience Instagram intends to build, it’s clear that social commerce is here, with one report from digital agency Avionos stating that 55% of consumers have bought something on a social media site.
Additionally, the success of Instagram spinning off in-app features into standalone applications remains to be seen as the company has been quiet regarding IGTV adoption.