One of the easiest ways to find new products nowadays is to follow brands on social media and see what they’re up to. Of those social networks, Instagram is probably the most appealing — it’s all about the pictures and videos, and there’s nothing better than visuals to spot what’s new and cool. Instagram has been monetizing this aspect through shopping tags in posts and in stories, but the company is reportedly making a standalone shopping app.
According to “two people familiar with the matter” who spoke to The Verge, Instagram is working on a dedicated app for shopping, to be called IG Shopping. It would allow you to check products and goods from the merchant accounts that you already follow and buy them in the app. There’s nothing tangible though, so the app could be scrapped without ever launching.
This wouldn’t be the first time Instagram tried to make a feature of the app into its own thing. There are already standalone apps for Direct messaging and IGTV, even though both functions are still accessible inside the main app. Thankfully, the company hasn’t yet followed in the footsteps of its Facebook big brother and cut any of these features away from the Instagram app.
With shopping, it really wouldn’t matter to those of us who still consider Instagram a place to share photos of places and food and things we love, not an “influencer” platform where every view and click counts. So far, the shopping links have been fairly unintrusive — unlike the barrage of ads and sponsored posts you see in your feed and stories — and whether they’re in the regular Instagram app or have their own platform for merchants and businesses to promote products, it wouldn’t make a lot of difference for the average user of the platform.