Before the launch of a standalone shopping app, Instagram is bringing more commerce to the flagship. The company said today that it will add a shopping tab to the Explore page, allowing you to thumb through a dedicated feed of shoppable merchandise from various sellers. As part of the launch, Instagram will let sellers add stickers to their ephemeral Stories for the first time, letting buyers make purchases from the Stories feed by tapping on merchandise.
Shopping is an increasingly popular activity on Facebook-owned Instagram. The company said today that 90 million people a month tap posts to reveal shopping tags. More than 25 million businesses already have Instagram accounts, and 2 million of them advertise with Facebook, chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg said on its most recent earnings call.
The company has been building a standalone shopping app to take advantage of users’ enthusiasm for commerce on the platform. But it is unclear when the app will launch, and it’s always possible that Instagram will cancel the project before it reaches that stage.
Still, the company is undertaking a significant push into e-commerce. Instagram first began testing a shopping feature in November 2016, rolling it out more widely in March of last year. Instagram began testing shoppable Stories in June.