Instagram rolls out Shopping in Stories globally, launches Shopping channel in Explore

September 17, 2018

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Instagram is expanding Shopping in Stories globally and launching a Shopping channel in its Explore tab. Since it began testing the Shopping Bag icon in Stories this past June with a limited number of e-commerce brands, the company reports more than 90 million accounts per month have tapped on the shopping bag tag used in posts.

The newly released Shopping channel in Explore offers a unique space where consumers will be able to find products from the brands they follow and discover new brands.

Why advertisers should care

These latest shopping features on Instagram aim to bridge the gap for advertisers that want to go from using the app as a marketing tool to leveraging it as an e-commerce channel. With Shopping in Stories, brands will be able to place a shopping bag icon on any products within a Story, making it possible for users to click the shopping bag and view product information, more images or links to the brand’s website to purchase the product.

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With more than 400 million people engaging with Instagram Stories every day, bringing Shopping into Stories can further extend a brand’s reach when trying to connect with consumers. According to Instagram, one-third of the most viewed Stories are created by businesses.

The Shopping tab in Explore will offer users a personalized feed defined by Instagram as a “channel dedicated to Shopping from the brands you follow and brands you might like.” It sounds a lot like what could be the beginning of the stand-alone Shopping app Instagram is rumored to be building.

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Trying out the Shopping tab in Explore before launching a stand-alone Shopping app is a risk-free way to test how much traffic and revenue such an app could potentially generate. Users willing to spend time on a Shopping tab in Explore will most likely make the jump to a Shopping app if they have success finding — and buying — products.

Highlights from Instagram’s Shopping announcements

  • After testing Shopping in Stories with a limited number of e-commerce brands in June, Instagram is now rolling it out globally for all advertisers.
  • Instagram reports 90 million accounts have engaged with Shopping in Stories per month since it began testing the e-commerce feature.
  • Instagram is also launching a Shopping tab in Explore that will include Shopping posts personalized based on both the brands a user follows and brands that they may be interested in discovering. The Shopping tab is scheduled to roll-out globally over the coming weeks.

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