Instagram has 800 million active monthly users, 25 million businesses on its platform and 200 million Instagrammers actively checking out a business account every day. It’s actually about time that Instagram put the spotlight on the second half of its identity: being an extremely viable eCommerce platform.
Instagram has now expanded its Shopping tag feature to include a product description and price. Once the tag is clicked, the user is directed to the business’s website and a purchase can be made. Funnily enough, a day before Instagram made this announcement, Pinterest unveiled its new development. Millennials use Pinterest as much as Instagram so the potential for more rivalry between the platforms is pretty big.
Instagram started out as a simple application to edit, upload, share pictures with your followers and follow your passions but has been showing a clear shift in the way it wants to be seen and used by its users - especially businesses. The key to being a successful social media platform is to stay relevant to its users. In the way that Twitter is moving from being just a social media tool to being a platform where one can constantly be up-to-date with current affairs (essentially a news platform), Instagram is heavily focusing on the business aspect of its platform.
The eCommerce space is probably never going to be the same again. Businesses will now have to evolve to keep up with the increase in traffic and maintain highly active Instagram and Facebook accounts in order to satisfy ever-hungry shoppers. As of now, Instagram doesn’t take cuts from sales made on the platform but that might change once revenues start increasing at phenomenal rates.
The Shopping Tag is currently in use in the U.S.A and in the U.K., Canada, Brazil, Australia, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain. It will only be a matter of time before sellers worldwide are able to use this feature. Until then, shoppers in other countries will have to resign themselves to visiting an actual website for shopping.