A long time after competing against Snapchat, Instagram is now said to be building a dedicated shopping app that may be called IG Shopping. The latest revelation comes amid the testing of a shopping feature on Instagram Stories that is aimed to expand shopping on the photo-sharing platform. Shopping is indeed one of the key focus areas for the platform that has over a billion users worldwide. The strategy to start pleasing businesses as a marketplace was constructed back in 2016, though its final shape could emerge through the dedicated app.
Instagram is aiming to let users browse and purchase goods from businesses they follow on its platform directly through the dedicated app, reports The Verge, citing a couple of people familiar with the development. The app is currently in its testing stage, though its release date is yet to be revealed. Being a testing model at the present stage, it could also be canceled before any public announcement. It is, however, believed that Instagram is "well positioned to make a major expansion into e-commerce."
Businesses are actively leveraging Instagram to reach new customers, especially young Instagram users aka Instagrammers. As per the official statistics, more than 25 million businesses are already on the platform, and two million of them are even its advertisers. All these figures already pushed the team led by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger to start offering an intrinsic shopping feature through Instagram Stories that was launched in June. Brands such as Adidas, Aritzia, and Louis Vuitton are among the key partners for the shopping feature, though it is expected to roll out to regular users soon.
It is unclear whether the shopping feature exclusive to Instagram Stories will remain in testing after the arrival of the dedicated app. However, this isn't the first time when Instagram is planning to build a dedicated app based on an existing feature. The company in December started testing direct messages through a standalone app called Direct. Earlier this year, it also brought IGTV as a video-focused app to take on YouTube.