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Instagram Adds Shopping Button for US Users

Instagram Adds Shopping Button for US Users

Wednesday, 20 March, 2019 - 10:30
Tapping the new "checkout" button will allow shoppers to select options such as size or color and then pay for items without leaving the Instagram app | AFP

Facebook-owned Instagram on Tuesday made a move into potentially lucrative e-commerce by adding an option to buy products shown off in posts by selected brands.

The step is in line with Facebook's plan to monetize higher-growth units like Instagram, as its centerpiece News Feed product strives to generate fresh interest.

A new "checkout" button for instant purchasing launched in a beta version of the app in the US with a limited number of businesses, according to the popular image-centric messaging service.

"We're introducing Checkout on Instagram," the Silicon Valley based division of Facebook said in an online post.

"When you find a product you love, you can now buy it without leaving the app."

When users tap on a product to look at the details, they’ll see the option to “Checkout on Instagram.” Tapping the checkout button will allow shoppers to select options such as size or color. From there, they can enter their billing and shipping information, which is stored for future purchases, and track their order without leaving the Instagram app.

Previously, people inspired to buy products featured in Instagram posts had to follow links to outside online shopping sites.

Information entered for an initial purchase will be stored for future use, according to Instagram.

It remained to be seen how people would feel trusting information such as credit card details to a service owned by Facebook, which has been hit with waves of criticism for its handling of personal data.

Brands taking part in the checkout feature included Adidas, Burberry, Dior, H&M, Nike, Oscar de la Renta, Prada, and glasses retailer Warby Parker.

Facebook makes the bulk of its money from digital advertising but has dabbled with e-commerce in the past. It has pitched its Messenger service as a communication platform for shops or brands to connect with customers.

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