Instagram to test shoppable tags

Kate Spade: trialling the tags

Instagram is about to get a whole lot more shoppable with the introduction of shoppable tags; the feature is being tested with 20 brands in the US from next week.

Brands including Kate Spade, J Crew and Levi’s will be introducing tags on items featured on photos that offer more product information such as product name and price. Up to five items per photo can be tagged and, so as not to interrupt the image browsing process, the tags will only appear when the user taps a “Tap here to view products” button at the bottom of the image.

Once they have tapped the button they will be able to scroll through all the products featured in the image in more detail and then tap “Shop now” should they wish to be directed to the brand’s website.

As it stands Instagram is not charging brands to use the feature but is expected to monetise it moving forward by charging brands to show the images to users who do not follow them. Other features in the pipeline include a “Save for later” feature so that users can continue to browse and come back to products they may wish to buy at a later time.

Instagram’s internal research shows that 50% of Instagram users follow a business on the app, while 60% say they have discovered new products and services on Instagram. The new feature aims to make shopping easier without interrupting the platform’s browsing and inspiration experience.

Facebook-owned Instagram boasts more than 500m monthly active users (80% of which are outside of the US) and some 95m images and videos are uploaded to the platform every day attracting 4.2bn “likes” daily. It recently introduced a “Stories” function, which was heavily influenced by Snapchat, that allows users to upload short time-limited videos and images to their account and has also made its images zoomable.