Shopping on social media is getting easier and easier—and just in time for the holidays! Today, Instagram launched a feature that will allow users to shop and sell in Instagram Reels, the latest effort to get users engaged with their commerce feature. Instagram wants to make it easy to discover and shop at the moment of inspiration, no matter where users are in the app—so now, when people see a Reel with tagged products, they can tap “View Products” to buy, save, or learn more about them.
I, for one, am super excited about this development. How many times have you been scrolling and seen someone wearing the perfect cozy sweater or workout gear, only to have it disappear into the Instagram abyss without a trace? Now, with a few simple clicks, you can nab what you what without even leaving the app.
Brands are already utilizing this update, including MAC Cosmetics, Revolve, Rare Beauty, and more setting up Reels to feature their new releases. Instagram’s @shop page has done a tremendous job of promoting emerging, smaller businesses alongside the bigger ones too, including For the Ages (handbags), Centinelle (silk scarves), Kammok (camping hammock), Expedition Subsahara (handwoven baskets), and Paper & Clay (handmade ceramics).
So why is Instagram suddenly very keen on you making in-app purchases? All signs point to this being a part of a larger initiative to diversify their revenue streams. Facebook and Instagram both make their dough primarily through selling ads on their platforms. Instagram even gave their home page an entirely new look to draw more traffic to the Shops feature, which suggests that they really, really want you making purchases.
Shopping on social platforms may not be as big of a leap as it once seemed. Users have often flocked to their favorite influencer’s blogs and profiles for anything from product reviews or home decor inspiration, book recommendations to baby gear, and beyond.
It’s only natural that platforms like Instagram would attempt to streamline this process by allowing users to shop within the app, and capitalize on the already existent, word-of-mouth consumer access that influencers have long reigned over. After all, your word (and whether or not your followers listen to it) is what attracts brands to you and your page.
Not familiar with Reels just yet? It’s a fairly new feature on the ‘gram that features short and long-form videos, much like the For You page on Tiktok. Reels, if used wisely, can be an asset for content creators looking to expand their reach, because it means your Insta profile now has the potential to be discovered by potential followers if your Reel does well—and it can do well whether or not you have a blue check! Expanding your platform just got a whole lot more accessible.
Will you be using Reels to get your followers shopping? Let us know in the comments below.
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