A recent report published by The Verge this month suggests Instagram is planning to launch a stand-alone shopping app, which would allow users to browse and purchase products in just a few taps.
The source claiming to have knowledge of the project told The Verge that the app will be called “IG Shopping” and will provide merchants and brands a designated platform for promoting and selling their goods.
According to the report, the app is still being prepped and tested but did not give a clear timeline for launch. Also, it wasn’t clear on whether or not Instagram’s current ecommerce features would remain within the original app, or be moved to the dedicated shopping app.
Around 25 million businesses already use Facebook-owned Instagram to promote and sell their products, which means the company would be able to quickly populate its dedicated shopping app with storefronts, allowing it to hit the ground running.
In fact, instagram introduced an in-app shopping experience in 2016 before rolling it out more widely last year. The system offers purchasing opportunities via tagged items in posted images, and more recently Instagram has been working to make the shopping experience as seamless as possible.
Given Facebook’s propensity to launch spinoff apps, the arrival of a shopping-focused Instagram app wouldn’t come as a huge surprise considering Amazon just launched the ability to purchase its products from within the Snapchat camera. If the Amazon+Snapchat partnership works out in the long run, it could mean big competition for Facebook in the coming years.
All that being said, it could be a while before a shopping app from Instagram sees the light of day, but we’ll be sure to update you here if it does.