This could be interesting.
Instagram has announced that selected brands will now be able to use new shopping tags within Instagram Stories.
As explained by Instagram:
“Instagram isn’t just a place of inspiration, it’s also a place of action, and we know that inspiration can come from anywhere. On Instagram Stories, when you see a sticker with a shopping bag icon tap on it to see more details about that product.”
The new option is effectively an extension of the platform’s in-stream Shopping Tags, which have been in circulation since late 2016 and are gradually being rolled out to more businesses.
Now the same will be available in Stories, a key growth platform on Instagram, and a key area of development for parent company Facebook more broadly.
Indeed, at their recent F8 developer conference, several Facebook executives noted the growth of Stories, which they say has put it on track to overtake the News Feed as the primary social sharing option within this year.
Definitely, the format has seen massive growth – originally launched by Snapchat, Facebook’s Stories options now dominate the market, with Instagram Stories in particular offering significant potential.
Given this, the addition of direct commerce options will no doubt prove a winner – as you can see from the example, the tool will enable brands to add in shopping tags for multiple items within a single frame, which users can tap-through for more information.
Note the ‘Also featured in this story’ section in the last frame. Similar to Pinterest’s ‘Shop the Look’ Pins, the new option will enable businesses to showcase their content more directly, and within the Stories format – which will no doubt get a heap more businesses interested.
But it’s not available to everyone just yet. As noted by Instagram:
“Now, you can shop from select brands in Instagram Stories with more coming soon.”
Instagram has long tread very carefully with such additions in order to avoid the platform being overrun with promotional content. They look to be taking the same approach again with Stories shopping – initially, it will only be available to selected partners, with an expanded roll out over time to minimize risk of overwhelm.
Instagram Stories has 300 million daily users, and growing, while Instagram overall has 800 million monthly actives, and rising fast. You can bet that a heap more brands are already looking to get in on the Instagram wave, and the addition of shoppable tags in Stories will only add to this. The visual nature of the platform, combined with this popularity, has it positioned to become a major player in eCommerce.
It does need to evolve slowly, but Instagram is set to become a much bigger social marketing consideration, for many more businesses in future.