It's been a while since we've heard anything more on Instagram's shopping tags, their coming eCommerce addition which would enable businesses to add information and price tags to products featured in their posts.
The tags themselves are still in development, but more businesses will soon have access to a version of the tool via an expanded integration with Shopify, which is being rolled out ahead of the holiday season.
As explained by Shopify:
"In this new rollout, merchants selected by Instagram and Shopify will be able to start tagging their posts with products in Instagram's apps to showcase to their over 800 million monthly active users. With Shopify's 500,000+ merchants in categories like fashion, jewelry, beauty, furniture, and home decor, it's a perfect match to Instagram's inspired community."
The Shopify tags will enable users to make purchases from any Instagram post, within the app, which is essentially the same process as Instagram's Shopping Tags, though it'll only be available to selected Shopify merchants at this stage (Shopify plans to expand this to more of their users in the future).
While it's not the full rollout of Shopping Tags, it's another step toward the greater expansion of Instagram as an online shopping hub. This is the direction Pinterest has been headed, with additions like Buyable Pins, but for Instagram, with its noted 800 million users, this could be a massive change, a huge shift in the online shopping landscape.
Indeed, Facebook more broadly is looking to integrate various new in-stream payment options - it'll take time to perfect, particularly considering regional regulations and providers, but it won't be long till you'll be able to make one-tap purchases in Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, even WhatsApp. That could be the next major shift for social business, and in particular, Messenger Bots. Right now, you can summon a range of processes via bots, but you still need to go through a separate payment flow to confirm.
The time is coming when such methods will all be integrated.
For Instagram, partnering with Shopify is an easy way for them to move in this direction, lessening the burden on their systems to establish the full payments protocol. And given so many people are already using Shopify for such purpose, it'll not only give Instagram more data about the potential popularity of tags and purchase options, but it'll also introduce users to the process, making it easier for them to fully integrate Shopping Tags for all businesses in future.