Instagram could launch standalone shopping app

Instagram is developing a standalone shopping app allowing users to buy goods directly from the app from merchants they follow.

According to The Verge, sources close to the situation revealed that the new app may be called IG Shopping, but its still in development and could yet be scrapped.

The Facebook owned app has been slowly introducing shopping features to its platform in recent months, having launched an update allowing consumers to directly purchase from businesses in March in the UK, following a successful pilot in the US.

A month earlier it launched shoppable adverts, which blend product catalogues with videos and allows users to buy items from the range without having to leave Instagram.

“Instagram is a business’s visual shop on mobile, and we’re seeing more people seek out businesses there,” Facebook’s chief operating office Sheryl Sandberg said in February.

“About two-thirds of the visits to Instagram business profiles are from people who don’t yet follow them. This is how many businesses are finding new customers.”

Sandberg added during its most recent earnings call that 80 per cent of Instagram users follow at least one business, and there are currently 25 million business accounts on the platform.

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