The online shopping bug has bitten Instagram. Facebook-owned social media network is planning to launch a standalone app ‘IG Shopping’, according to a report in Verge. The basis for this decision could be the presence of 25 million businesses having Instagram accounts on the platform and around 2 million of them also being advertisers.
The plan is to offer the customers products that sellers are displaying on Instagram and being followed by the customers. The purchases can be done directly on the app itself.
It might still be work in progress and there is also no indication on exactly when the shopping app would be ready and will go live. Though Instagram is yet to make an official confirmation of this development, the sources seem to indicate the ecommerce foray is a done deal.
Instagram is basically trying to leverage the huge membership base it has and if the ecommerce app can also generate revenue for it, that will be the icing on the cake.
Merchants on the Instagram platform will receive support from Facebook on designing their storefront on the IG Shopping app and displaying their ware. The app could take on Shopify head-on and gain competitive edge.
The revenue model will be built on the basis of the tools being supplied by service providers like Four Sixty. They help those advertising on Instagram with creating photo galleries and content moderation so that they can easily sell their products. Shopify already has the provision to promote Instagram-based businesses on its site through plug-ins.
Offering shopping experiences to its members is not new to Instagram. It has been doing this for some time now and is even testing out a new feature that permits members to shop from Instagram Stories.
And Instagram has other plans as well; one relates to launch a messaging app Direct and the other, is IGTV, which is its bid take on YouTube.