Raise your hands if you’ve spent hours scrolling through multiple stylish feeds on Instagram, drooling over the candy-colored handbags and the statement shoes by some of your favorite brands like Kate Spade and J.Crew. Guilty? Us, too.
Instagram has changed the way we discover new brands and products. But while the social media app has been a great place for virtual window shopping, it hasn’t provided a platform for actually purchasing those newfound goods. That is, until now. Starting next week, Instagram users will be able to shop the products featured on their favorite posts.
To test the new experience, the photo-centric app has partnered with 20 fashion brands, including Michael Kors, Tory Burch, and Levi’s. Each participating partner can tag up to five shoppable items in a post, which will feature a “tap to view” icon at the bottom left of the photo. You can tap the post to learn more about the products, and if you’re interested, click the “shop now” button to be directed to the retailer’s site. The idea is to provide the users a seamless mobile retail experience without having to switch between apps.
While third-party apps such ashave provided users with product links outside the app in the past, this new function marks the launch of an internal shopping tool directly on Instagram. Users (shoppers and brands alike) have long desired a purchasing feature on the social media platform, but past experiences have shown shopping hasn’t proved to be a successful asset on social media. Facebook, Instagram’s parent company, has a history of discontinuing e-commerce products, including Gifts and its virtual currency dubbed “Facebook Credits.”
Unfortunately, the new feature isn’t available for everyone just yet. A select number of iOS users in the U.S. will have the chance to test out the function first. Other features likely to come down the pipe will include the ability to save products for later and even a comparison shop.
Get ready to go on a holiday shopping spree on Instagram this season.