Instagram has become more than just a photo and video sharing app these past few years as we’ve seen the Facebook-owned app add more features. Shopping has become one of those things that people have been exploring as they discover new products and merchants through their posts. It seems like Instagram is readying itself for the next stage of their e-commerce journey. Now they’re adding more shopping tools in the popular Stories section as well as bringing a Shopping channel in the Explore section.
Instagram started testing out Shopping in Stories a couple of months ago and now they’re ready to go full blast as they’re expanding it to businesses in 46 countries around the world. When a brand that you love posts something behind-the-scenes on their Stories, you can now tap on a product if you want to learn more and you can eventually view it on their website if you decide on buying it.
The Topic channels which also launched last June in the Explore section has made it easier for users to browse according to what they like. Now it will also be easier to look through the brands that they love to buy as there will now be a sort of Shopping channel in this section. This will be a section filled with all the Shopping posts from those accounts that you already follow and those that Instagram thinks you might like.
However, you still can’t buy directly on Instagram and there seems to be no move yet to go towards that. What they’re mostly doing is to help get brands that offer consumer products to get discovered more easily and also to post visually about what they’re selling. We’re mostly okay with that, rather than see Instagram turn into just one big e-commerce platform.
These new shopping features will start rolling out today and will expand globally soon after. Just update your Instagram app from the Google Play page.