Instagram, may not be the first service to venture into social media commerce—Tumblr already has this feature—with over 100 million daily active users, it is certainly expected to change the face of social media buying.
While Facebook’s experiment with Marketplace went horribly wrong—instead of home products, the site was being used to buy guns and marijuana—the company is not backing down from its pursuit of a piece of the e-commerce pie. On Tuesday, it announced that Instagram, one of its widely used services for photo and video tagging, would be used by a select few retailers across the US to sell products. Essentially, what this would do is add a price-tag to the photos, so that you can buy stuff directly from the website. For instance, if you are looking at your friend’s photos and like something that she is wearing, you can buy a similar product by clicking on the tag and not being redirected to the merchant website.
Instagram, may not be the first service to venture into social media commerce—Tumblr already has this feature—with over 100 million daily active users, it is certainly expected to change the face of social media buying. While the company did not announce any plans to sell used merchandise like Facebook marketplace, that also may happen given the craze around celebrities. With celebrities endorsing certain brands over the platform, their followers would certainly buy their merchandise. Moreover, if pop-sensation Selena Gomez—she’s the most followed celebrity on Instagram, with 102 million followers—wants to sell one of her dresses over the photo-sharing service, she can find buyers by the thousands. While it is not clear whether the whole exercise will be successful—a GlobalWebIndex poll in 2015 found that only 14% people were interested in the ‘buy’ button on Instagram—it would be capitalism at its best, where almost everything is for sale.