Instagram is going to start testing a way for users to shop directly from the app, the company announced in a blog post Tuesday.
The trial, which begins next week, includes 20 U.S. brands, including Abercrombie & Fitch, Target, Warby Parker and J.Crew. The new feature overlaps a “Tap here to view products” button on top of photos from participating companies. Users who click can view more details about the products pictured and, if interested, be directed to retailers’ websites to make a purchase.
“It makes Instagram better for people because when you get inspired, it’s not a satisfying experience if you can’t take action and learn and explore further. It brings more depth and experience to what they are doing on the platform,” Instagram’s director of market operations, Jim Squires, told Business Insider.
Instagram is owned by Facebook, and the company is eager to find creative new ways to engage the app’s 500 million monthly active users. Facebook has been increasing its focus on commerce efforts in recent months: the company launched Marketplace, a separate Facebook section for users to buy and sell goods, and introduced the ability to send money directly within its Messenger app.
For now, the Instagram experiment will begin without profit: retailers won’t need to pay to use Instagram’s shopping feature and the app is not looking to take a cut from product sales that come directly from the feature, Business Insider reported.
The Instagram shopping experience will roll out to select users of the iOS app first.