Instagram Shopping: The next Standalone App?

In case you missed it, news is swirling that a new standalone Instagram shopping app, which may be called IG Shopping, could be in the works.

In case you really missed it, in 2016, Instagram rolled out with “shoppable tags.” This feature created a more immersive shopping experience for users as retailers could promote their products directly from their Instagram picture.

To interact with a shoppable tag, all that a user has to do is tap the image and an additional tag will appear that denotes the product and its price. If the user clicks that tag, they’ll be taken to a product page for that particular item. This feature created a sense of convenience for consumers to make a purchase from Instagram.

It seems as if shoppable tags paired with the fact that, according to Sprout Social, 80 percent of users follow a business on Instagram with 60 percent hearing about a product or service through the platform (AKA consumer demand), could be the inspiration for a standalone app as Instagram is working towards becoming an eCommerce platform of sorts.

So, as the what ifs continue to swirl, here are my initial thoughts on the matter:

  1. Instagram has shown time and time again that they’re paying attention to the wants and needs of their audience. They realize the power that Instagram has given brands to sustain and grow their business on this platform and this potential update speaks to their willingness to better serve their consumers.
  2. Now, while this sounds all well and dandy, there’s a chance that splitting the experience into two apps could cause a bit of disconnect or lead to a very slow adoption of an Instagram shopping app.  But, let’s be real. Every new update or feature to the platform has been met with initial resistance until people put away their emergency sirens and actually understand how to leverage it to their advantage.
  3. There’s no denying that no matter what social app you open, you’re going to be bombarded by an influx of content and advertisements. This holds especially true as brands continue to grow their presence on Instagram. To that point, creating a completely separate app that for shopping could reduce the clutter that’s overtaken our feeds.

With all of this speculation comes a realization. There are a lot more avenues of opportunity that brands can utilize and leverage to build their business online and, more specifically, through social media.

What do you think about the possibility of a standalone Instagram shopping app?