Shopping on Instagram was first made possible late last year when the platform introduced shoppable photos, but it was limited to only certain brands. Those posts contained links to retailers’ websites and hinted at the monetization potential of Instagram’s 500 million daily active users. The sheer size of the app’s userbase makes Instagram a very attractive platform to sell products. Now, e-commerce company Shopify and Instagram are opening up that integration feature (called what else? Shopping on Instagram) to thousands of merchants, which will allow Instagram posts to be tagged with items for sale. Instagram users who are interested in buying items can tap a link to view and buy it from the seller’s online store without leaving the app.
Shopify has been testing the feature throughout 2017, and the company notes that product tags are only visible to users in the US. Merchants can only sell physical products like food, books, clothing, toys, art, stationery, and electronics. Only five products can be tagged in both new and old posts.
Merchants have until October 16th to get approval from Instagram to use the feature. Shopify says once the testing phase is completed, Shopping on Instagram will be available to everyone.