Instagram launches in-app shopping in US

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Instagram is launching an online shopping feature that will allow users to buy products directly within the Instagram app, marking a major move into ecommerce and a bid to tap new revenue streams.

The company said on Tuesday that users in the US would be able to buy products from 20 different fashion brands, including Adidas, Burberry, H&M and Zara, directly on the app via a new “checkout” feature. It plans to roll out the feature with more vendors “in coming months”.

With the new checkout feature, Instagram will charge merchants a “selling fee” when a sale is made on the platform, calculated as a percentage of each transaction. Users will be able to pay with Visa, Mastercard, American Express, PayPal and Discover, and payments will be processed in partnership with PayPal.

When you tap to view a product from a brand’s shopping post, you’ll see a “Checkout on Instagram” button on the product page. Tap it to select from various options such as size or color, then you’ll proceed to payment without leaving Instagram. You’ll only need to enter your name, email, billing information and shipping address the first time you check out.

Once your first order is complete, your information will be securely saved for convenience the next time you shop. You’ll also receive notifications about shipment and delivery right inside Instagram, so you can keep track of your purchase.

“People no longer have to navigate to the browser when they want to buy,” the company said in a statement.

“And with their protected payment information in one place, they can shop their favourite brands without needing to log in and enter their information multiple times.”

Instagram has been taking steps to develop its shopping offering over the past year by allowing businesses to add tags to their posts with more information about products.

The company said on Tuesday that more than 130m users a month have been tapping on posts to look at these product tags, up from 90m in September.

Checkout on Instagram is currently in closed beta for businesses and available to people in the US. The brands below will begin rolling out today and over the coming weeks