Instagram Aims To 'Unlock' Value Through Shopping Features


Through a long-term vision to take on the desire of users to window shop and amp up retail, Instagram Head Adam Mosseri seeks to “connect the dots thoughtfully” between sellers, shoppers and “influencers” on the app. The idea is to “unlock” value by rolling out features like “native checkout,” the Financial Times reported.

The shopping effort, however, is a longer-term plan and would need infrastructure. Mosseri noted that inventory systems management integration, as well as buyer protection features, would need to be put in place.

At the same time, the executive put forward a vision that would have the social media platform move into Alibaba’s or Amazon’s marketplace territory or even that of “super apps” like China’s WeChat that enables users to shop and send money as well as play games without needing to exit its platform.

Mosseri also noted that the group was “very excited” about the idea of having “reasonable” transaction commissions. “It should be very return-on-investment-positive for the sellers involved,” he said, according to the outlet.

The report comes as news surfaced in March that Instagram was rolling out a pilot of a new shopping feature through which users can shop and check out within the app. Users now swipe a product on Instagram and were brought to the website of the vendor to make an order.

Through the pilot program, however, users who click on a button for “View the Product” will see an option for “Checkout on Instagram” in lieu of being taken to the vendor’s website. Payment information entered on the platform can be saved and orders can be managed from the app.

The brands that are taking part in the pilot were reportedly among the most popular ones on Instagram. At the same time, it was noted that the brands were chosen based on shopping performance on the social media platform.



The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.