A report by technology news site The Verge has revealed that Instagram is working on a new app, currently known as IG Shopping, which will let users browse goods from merchants they follow and buy them online from directly within the app.
More than 25 million businesses currently have Instagram accounts and 2 million of them advertise on the platform. Four out of five Instagram users follow at least one business.
Instagram has already launched a shopping for businesses to tag products and users to shop from business accounts by clicking a “shop now” link, which launched as a beta test in 2016. A new feature allowing users to shop directly from Instagram stories is currently being tested.
It’s thought that creating a standalone app for e-commerce will prove popular with both merchants and users, while increasing opportunities for revenue.
One source suggested that Facebook, who owns the Instagram platform, could introduce a suite of merchant tools over time in direct competition with e-commerce platforms such as Shopify.