The New Instagram Stories Features are a Glimpse Into How We’ll be Shopping in the Future

The social app will soon be one of the easiest places to practice your online shopping habit. Yikes.

By Anastasia Barbuzzi

Date September 20, 2018

You never open your Instagram feed with the intention of doing some shopping but sometimes, it happens. (It might happen a lot, and that’s okay too.)

Vishal Shah, Instagram Director of Product Management, says that the app’s new shopping features will help people get closer to the products they love through Stories and personalized shopping channels in Explore, and that soon it’s be the primary way we shop.

“Stories is a really amazing medium and format where brands are already telling deeper stories. It’s kind of a way to show people what it’s actually like to walk in that store and not just look at that beautiful window,” says Shah. “We wanted to extend that and take it further into stories, to get brands to use stickers and tag product appropriately so people can look at it and learn more about it at the same time.” PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF INSTAGRAM

Today, there’s 90 million people interacting with shopping tags to learn more about products. And since Instagram sources content from all over the ecosystem in Explore, any business that creates a shopping post on the app is eligible to show up there or on a personal shopping channel too.

Here’s how it all happened: a couple years ago, Shah says he and his team noticed people were asking a lot of questions in comments and replying to Stories asking where they could buy a product featured in a post. They realized that if you spot something you want on Instagram, there was no easy way to buy it. “We were really getting in their way by not letting them go from that moment of inspiration to learning more about that product,” says Shah.

Now, the shopping channel in Explore will take the 200 million people that go to theirs everyday and give them a place to shop not just from the places they follow, but from places they’ve shown interest in as well. PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF INSTAGRAM

Shah added that “if you think of our investments in shopping in the future, they really will be shaped around this framework of the serendipitous use [of Instagram] and window shopping going forward.” Well, I guess that means we can say goodbye to our budgets.


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