What is happening with Instagram shops?
September 2022

By Amy Cartledge

The rise and fall of e-commerce on social media – we’ve seen all major platforms integrate shopping into their architecture, whether it’s more successful ventures like Facebook’s eBay-like Marketplace or the flop of TikTok’s shops, especially among its European users. But what’s happened now with shopping on Instagram, whose summer of updates feels more up-and-down than a Shakespearean play? 


A drastic scale back  

According to an internal memo circulated to staff earlier this month, Instagram is changing its focus from shopping and e-commerce in order to place more emphasis on advertising and short-form video. 

Employees at Instagram have been told that the existing shopping page we see on Instagram will eventually disappear, but for now it will remain. This U-turn is one of many that has taken place over summer, which has seen Meta, and Instagram more specifically focus on video and move away from long-term projects. 

Given the announcement is yet to be made public, there is a distinct lack of detail on what it means for brands currently operating through the app. But one thing is for sure – independent creators who rely on generating new leads through Instagram will have to start diversifying. 


What does this mean for current brands on Instagram? 

Brands currently could benefit from features which allow them to tag their products, and thus send their followers directly to their website in order to purchase. In July this year, Meta went as far to announce that users would eventually be able to make payments directly in-app. This would allow customers to complete all purchases directly in app, ask questions to sellers as well as track their orders. 

Part of Meta’s desire was to expand on its payment service ‘Meta Pay’, these updates would have mirrored trends in Asia, where shopping via social is far more common and widely popular. It seems like a huge and sudden U-turn, especially when the initial proposal aimed to streamline the shopping process and was, dare we say it, actually a semi-original idea. 

We can only wait and see to know more about this latest update, and what it’ll mean for those businesses relying on the app… 

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