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Instagram launches the new Checkout e-commerce feature

In the United States, starts the trialproject that allows to shop directly in the app

Instagram launches the new Checkout e-commerce feature In the United States, starts the trialproject that allows to shop directly in the app

Now you can make purchases directly on Instagram. The social platform has introduced a function, called Checkout, which allows you to buy products directly from the app, without going through another site to complete the order and make the payment.

“From the beginning, people on Instagram have always loved shopping, they get excited about discovering those suede boots that are perfect for them, they are caught by beauty tutorials or they rush to grab that pair of unique sneakers. Instagram is a place where people can feel inspired and experience the pleasure of shopping as opposed to shopping. We keep this goal in mind in everything we build ".

It reads about one of the company, which during 20018 had already taken small steps in this direction, by inserting product tags in the feeds, the Stories and a shopping section in the Explore section.

Operation is simple. If you like a pair of sneakers while watching a story or a post, all you have to do is touch the image on the small bag-shaped icon. A label will appear on the item that can be purchased with the price indicated. Select it, specify color and size, enter a payment method, indicate a shipping address and pay (at the moment you can only buy one product at a time, paying for each purchase before you can make another). Once the order is complete, Instagram will send a notification when the item is shipped.

For now Checkout is little more than a pilot project, available only in the United States and reserved for only twenty companies, including adidas, H&M, Zara, Uniqlo, Burberry, MAC Cosmetics, Kylie Cosmetics, Dior and Prada, but could become the future of the app, transforming it into a sort of e-commerce site. Will Instagram be the new Amazon, thus losing its most "artistic" essence? A company spokesperson assures:

"Checkout is more than putting a purchase button on a post. We have looked in depth at what people expect from a mobile payment experience in 2019. The experience is entirely optional. For people who want to shop, we want make it as easy and seamless as possible."

A concept reiterated also by Vishal Shah, head of product of the company, who commented on the new function saying that Instagram was initially cautious about joining companies and consumers, but that the more than 130 million people who used the system of Active shopping so far has prompted the company to invest more in e-commerce, stressing that

"People were ready to go shopping on Instagram, only they were struggling to do it."

However, optional or not, the new option marks the crossing of a border that turns the social network into a potential war machine to make money. Just think of the colossal array of users on which the platform can count, millions of potential consumers (most of them very young) addicted to communication conveyed by captivating images. Companies that already use IG as a fundamental direct-to-consumer channel could even focus more on it as the main marketing vehicle, directing consumers to shopping with new products and ad hoc campaigns.

Last year, alarmed by the possibility of seeing Instagram reduced to a simple market place, co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger announced their departure from the company, reporting to various sources that they were uncomfortable with the involvement of Facebook (which is now owner of the app) in the rapid marketing of IG. Among the many fears there is also what the multiplication of sponsored posts and mega-influencer promotions together with new shopping features can push users away from Instagram. We remember again that the Checkout function is, for now, little more than an experiment and only its success and time will tell if it will be the inevitable of Instagram. All we can do for now is enjoy the platform, as we know it and as we have always done.