After unveiling Facebook Shop in May 2020 to help small businesses sell more of their goods on the social network, Facebook-owned Instagram yesterday implemented the same functionality in the Explore tab across its mobile apps for iOS and Android devices.

According to Instagram, people will start seeing checkout arrows in the mobile Instagram app to indicate products that the user can purchase directly on Instagram without leaving the app. Instagram Shop is now live for Instagram users in the United States. The feature will be rolling out to other countries in the coming weeks, the company said.

To make purchases and donations at the checkout, people can use the Facebook Pay feature which was announced last year and will be launching in the United States this week. Facebook Pay lets you secure payments either with a PIN or biometrics like Touch ID or Face ID. On eligible products you buy using checkout, Facebook’s Purchase Protection feature is available.

The new Instagram Shop experience is currently available through the app’s Explore tab, but a Shop tab will be coming later this year to Instagram’s navigation bar as well. Similar to Facebook Shop, its Instagram counterpart will feature collections and products from brands and creators, as well as special curations from Instagram’s social shopping channel @shop.

On top of that, live video with shopping will be available for both Facebook and Instagram “in the coming months”. This will allow influences to tag products in live videos, making it easy for their followers to buy what they want when they see it thanks to prominent links.

The grand idea here seems to be letting small businesses turn their pages on Facebook or Instagram into direct digital storefronts. At some point in the future, third-party digital storefronts will be able to integrate their loyalty programs into Facebook and Instagram Shops.

Do you condone integration of digital storefronts in apps like Facebook and Instagram?

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