Instagram is shopping for its share of holiday dollars.
On Thursday, Facebook’s much-cooler sibling added three new features designed to help people browse, discover and save items more easily.
A lot must happen before someone buys, and while shopping can be a by-product of spending time on Instagram, people aren’t there to fill their cart and check out.
Rather than actually transacting, most people on Instagram are window shopping and using the platform to explore their interests. The idea here is for Instagram to help brands get more information out about their products in a storytelling-like way without being too disruptive to the user experience, an Instagram spokesperson said.
With the new features, Instagram users can save items to shopping collections by tapping a product tag icon within Stories or feed, and they can tap tags within feed videos to learn more about the products featured within them. Instagram says that more than 90 million users tap on shopping tags within its platform every month.
Instagram is also testing a function that gives users the ability to tap into a brand’s business profile and see all of the products it has on offer in one place, including prices.
Although these additions are incremental, they build on other recent shopping-related rollouts on the platform.
In September, Instagram enabled shoppable stickers within Stories – which users can tap to learn more about a product – and it started testing a dedicated, personalized shopping channel within the Explore tab to make it easier to follow and discover brands.
But Instagram also does want users to transact or at least take some action. Last spring, Instagram began testing direct response ads within Stories.
“We’ve seen success for clients with Stories, whether that’s driving upper-funnel campaigns for things like awareness, as well as for direct response and ecommerce clients,” said Amy Darwish, US director of media operations at Omnicom-owned Resolution Media.
Stories represent a major pillar of Facebook’s new monetization strategy across its family of apps, as Facebook transitions away from reliance on the news feed as a main revenue driver.
Instagram Stories is at 400 million daily active users. Instagram claims that one-third of the most viewed Stories on the platform are posted by businesses.