Instagram Introduces Shopping Cart Feature

Facebook Inc’s Instagram is trialing a feature that lets U.S. users shop from the photo-sharing app by using a “checkout” option on items tagged for sale, the company informed on their network.

Instagram has partnered with more than 20 brands including Adidas, H&M, Kylie Cosmetics and Michael Kors on the shopping feature, easing into territory more familiar to retail giants like Amazon.com Inc and Walmart Inc.

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

The feature is currently applicable to U.S. Instagram users which enables them to click on a product featured in a post, see its price, and click again to bring up an order form.

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Users can then check out and pay via Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover or PayPal. Previously, Instagram allowed brands to link to their respective websites for users to make purchases.

The world’s largest social media network is under intense pressure to improve its handling of data following a number of controversies related to user privacy on its social media platform.

However, Instagram said it would introduce a selling fee to help fund transaction-related expenses without specifying any financial benefits of its partnership.

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In a similar move last year, “Product Pins” feature was introduced by image-search platform Pinterest Inc to provide prices and links to retailers checkout pages to make purchases.

Instagram has more than 130 million users tapping to reveal product tags in shopping posts every month, up from 90 million in September, it said.

Facebook has plans to evolve Instagram and Messenger into robust e-commerce platforms where users can click on ads and buy products, said Ivan Feinseth, an analyst with Tigress Financial Partners.