IG Shopping is a dedicated merchant app from Instagram

Instagram is currently developing a dedicated shopping app. Aptly named IG Shopping, the app allows users to browse collections of goods from merchants that they already follow and buy directly within the app, according to The Verge.

Noting the development of the app is “still ongoing, and it could be canceled before it is released,” IG Shopping is nonetheless “well positioned to make a major expansion into e-commerce,” according to sources. By releasing a separate app, Instagram hopes to expand its opportunities for revenue.

The Verge explains:

Over time, Facebook could introduce more tools for merchants who are building their businesses on Instagram, directly challenging e-commerce platforms like Shopify, according to a person familiar with the company’s thinking. Most online businesses need an Instagram account already, the thinking goes; many of them would surely use paid business tools if they became available.

There are over 25 million businesses with Instagram accounts. Of those, 2 million are advertisers. Right now, Instagram allows merchants to tag posts with individual products, allowing users to shop directly from photos. Instagram is also testing a feature that lets users buy products via Instagram stories.

IG Shopping wouldn’t be the only standalone Instagram app released in 2018. Back in June, the company introduced IGTV, which allows creators to upload full-screen, vertical videos up to one-hour in length.

With the holiday shopping season almost here, don’t be surprised to see IG Shopping land in the App Store very soon. If it doesn’t, it probably means it’s not happening.

Do you think Instagram needs a dedicated shopping app?