Instagram is pushing its in-app shopping into even more parts of its app. The company is adding shopping tools to two new features: IGTV and Reels. Shopping in IGTV is rolling out around the world now, while Reels will be testing it later this year.
“By bringing shopping to IGTV and Reels, we’re making it easy to shop directly from videos. And in turn, helping sellers share their story, reach customers, and make a living,” Instagram chief operating officer Justin Osofsky said in a statement on Monday.
Earlier this year, Instagram introduced Instagram Shop, where users can visit a shopping page within a business Instagram profile, or by going through Instagram Feed, Explore and Stories.
The social commerce business model, which includes shopping from short video apps and live-streaming, is widely used in China. During the first half of this year, there were more than 10 million e-commerce related live streaming sessions in China, attracting more than 50 billion views, according to China’s Ministry of Commerce.
Suning.com, which has seen its online sales boom during Covid-19, has partnered with ByteDance’s popular short video platform Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok. Consumers can purchase Suning.com products directly from Douyin’s e-commerce live-streaming platform without being re-redirected, and Suning.com provides delivery and after-sales service.
Li Jiaqi, one of China’s top live-streamers who goes by the nickname “lipstick king”, generated more than US$145 million in sales during the Singles’ Day shopping festival last November.
In the US, combining e-commerce and social media has long been something social networking companies have grappled with. In 2015 Facebook allowed certain brands to open a “shop” on their Facebook pages, displaying products that customers could buy without leaving the site. However, user reception was lukewarm and the shops closed within a year.