Instagram expands shopping functionality with Shopify, Bigcommerce integrations

Instagram's 'shoppable' post format is designed to encourage potential shoppers to make more in-the-moment purchases while browsing photos on the social network.

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Instagram is expanding its "shoppable" post format that's designed to encourage potential shoppers to make more in-the-moment purchases while browsing photos on the social network.

First teased in November, the shopping tag feature allows businesses to mark products within an image as available for purchase. Once clicked, the shopping tag redirects to a product page for more item details as well as links to the actual store website where it can be purchased.

Only about 20 brands had access to the shoppable photos function at launch, but Instagram announced today that it's expanding to US businesses in the fashion, apparel, jewelry and skincare categories who use the commerce platforms BigCommerce and Shopify.

The program's expansion also includes updates that make it easier for marketers to link product catalogs and tag shoppable products in their posts, as well as metrics to help gauge which posts are performing well.

Instagram currently has more than 600 million active users on the site and roughly five million active business profiles, however, Instagram's commerce push is still in the early stages. The company said this latest development is "part of our continuing efforts to strengthen relationships between people and the brands they love, by creating more opportunities -- and simpler ways -- to discover and explore products on Instagram."

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