Earlier this month, Instagram began testing new navigation in its app that gave its shopping destination a more prominent position. On Thursday, the company announced it was moving forward with its plans to promote Instagram as a place to shop with the launch of its new “Instagram Shop” tab, a place to shop from inside Instagram Explore, as well as the launch of Facebook Pay for purchases and donations in the U.S.
Instagram Shop is described as a place to browse products from favorite brands and creators, as well as curated collections published by the Instagram-run @shop account. In the Shop tab, you’re able to filter by categories like beauty and home, for example, and then check out directly in the app.
For purchases you make with checkout, “Facebook Pay” will be rolling out in the coming weeks in the U.S. Announced last year, Facebook Pay will provide a seamless, secure way to shop and make donations to causes you care about across our apps. It features an extra layer of security with the ability to add unique PIN or device biometrics, such as Touch or Face ID. The app will also provide purchase protection on eligible products that you buy using checkout.
While there was already a way to shop within Instagram before today — and even check out from select accounts without leaving the app — the new Instagram Shop has been designed to encourage even more browsing and discovery of brands, creators and products.
Shop itself grew out of how Instagram users were already using the platform to find new things to buy. The photo-centric app had naturally drawn in users who posted creative content, often including well-styled photos of fashion, beauty products, art, home décor and more. And thanks to the rise of influencers and their numerous brands deals, Instagram was often a place where you’d find products being demoed and discussed, encouraging purchases.
Meanwhile, Instagram ads and their nearly perfected targeting capabilities would appear in your feed, eerily suggesting the very thing you’re likely to buy.
The new Instagram Shop is the culmination of all this data and insight, put into its own destination. How well it will covert as a standalone product, however, remains to be seen.