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Monday, January 25, 2021

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Shopping is coming to Instagram Reels globally, turning the whole app into a catalog

Instagram is covering its app with shopping content. Today, the company announced that shopping is rolling out to Reels, its TikTok copycat product, around the world. It announced a test of this feature in October. Businesses and creators will be able to tag products when they create Reels, and viewers can tap through those tags to buy or save them. A branded content tag is also available for influencers who are paid for their posts. With this rollout, Instagram now has shopping available in every format on the app — the Feed, Stories, IGTV, and Live.

Shopping is important to Instagram, and Facebook more broadly, as it looks to diversify its revenue. Ads are the primary way both platforms make money, but shopping presents an opportunity to profit off sales fees. In Instagram’s case, people already look for product inspiration, so giving them the option to buy directly from the app streamlines that process. It even completely redesigned the home screen to emphasize shopping and Reels.

Meanwhile, TikTok is partnering with Shopify to launch new shopping features, including a test that would let Shopify users tag stores in their videos with a “shop now” button. Reels only widely launched in August and is already being used for shopping, which speaks to just how important commerce is to the company and how badly it wants to beat TikTok to the punch.

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