Facebook isn’t wasting any time to add more features to its Instagram app, the photo and video sharing social networking, to take on rival TikTok.
CNBC reported Facebook will start testing shopping through Reels, its short-form video feature, later this year. Also, starting Monday (Oct. 5), it will add shopping to IGTV, Instagram’s standalone video app for Android and iOS smartphones.
The move is expected to appeal to creators and brands who hope to cash in on their efforts on the app. It will allow users to add shopping tags to their posts. Customers can tap on the item and shop through the Instagram app or the retailer’s website, the news service reported.
This seems to fit with Facebook’s efforts to add more shopping options on Instagram.
In July, the app introduced Instagram Shop on its Explore page, which promises to make it easier to shop from brands and creators. It offers the latest trends, gives personalized recommendations and previews exclusive launches in one place, the company said.
CNBC reports the addition of the shopping feature could give Instagram an edge over TikTok, its Reels competitor.
Last year, TikTok, the Chinese video-sharing social networking app owned by ByteDance, entered the eCommerce sector when it allowed some users to add links to their profiles and videos. For example, jeans manufacturer Levi Strauss & Co. added its brand to TikTok’s new “Shop Now” feature to connect users to merchandise.
The network also reported TikTok is negotiating with Oracle Corp. and Walmart Inc. to sell some of its operations to them. In this way, both companies could boost their eCommerce operations, while giving Walmart’s brick-and-mortar stores an edge with TikTok’s young users.
In June, Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri told the Financial Times its long-term vision is to fulfill users' desire of to window shop and amp up retail to connect the dots between sellers, shoppers and influencers on the app. The idea, he said, is to unlock value by rolling out features including native checkout.
But the shopping effort, he added, will require infrastructure. Mosseri noted that inventory systems management integration, as well as buyer protection features, must be put in place.
BigCommerce said the new feature will provide merchants an intuitive, seamless and secure way to purchase products on Instagram in a few clicks.