Instagram quietly announced a significant development in its capabilities this week — Instagram Shopping. Citing the fundamental difference that mobile has made to how people shop (you’re scrolling while you’re waiting for your dinner companion, on the train, or even in-store to price-check), Instagram claims they saw an opportunity to ease the frustration felt by not being able to see more information about products featured in posts.

Video via Instagram

They’re testing the new product with several big brands including Abercrombie & Fitch, Kate Spade, JackThreads and Warby Parker — who will all be sharing posts that have more product info, making it easier for Instagrammers to review, learn about and consider the items that interest them.

“Each post will have a tap to view icon at the bottom left of a photo. When tapped, a tag will appear on various products in the post—showcasing up to five products and their prices. Once a tag is selected a new detailed view of the product will open. Then, if the consumer taps the Shop Now link from the product details view, they’ll go directly to that product on the business’ website, making it easier for them to buy the product they want.” — Instagram


Image via Instagram Business Blog

This would indeed be a significant coup for Instagram itself, and the bloggers and brands who use it; the new features will serve the user important decision-making information without having to leave the Instagram app to search (which is the point at which most drop-off occurs). It’s also competing directly with Pinterest’s buyable pins which eliminate the need for users to leave Pinterest in order to make a purchase.

The new features will initially be available only to a group of people on iOS devices within the US — but stay tuned if you’re elsewhere, it surely won’t be long.

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