RIP Your Wallet: Instagram Adds In-App Shopping

RIP Your Wallet: Instagram Adds In-App Shopping
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If you’ve ever browsed through your Instagram feed and thought “Oh that shirt is cute but haha, thank god that’s way too much effort for me to actually leave this app and buy it” — bad news, friends.

Instagram announced that starting today, it’s introducing an in-app checkout feature.

The way the checkout feature works, users in the U.S. can view a brand’s shopping post and tap on the image. That’ll bring up a product tag and price, which you can then tap to bring you to the Instagram checkout screen.

From there, you can pick different options like size and colour before entering your payment, shipping, and email. Instagram says you only have to enter your info the first time you order—after that the company “securely saves” your data for convenience.

So far the checkout feature is a closed, invitation-only beta for a select 23 brands, mostly in apparel and cosmetics. The full list includes: Adidas, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Balmain, Burberry, ColourPop, Dior, H&M, Huda Beauty, KKW, Kylie Cosmetics, MAC Cosmetics, Michael Kors, NARS, Nike, NYX Cosmetics, Oscar de la Renta, Ouai Hair, Outdoor Voices, Prada, Revolve, Uniqlo, Warby Parker, and Zara.

The feature is semi-live as of this writing. While product tags pop up, many of us at Gizmodo were unable to get an actual checkout button. (Screenshot: Victoria Song, Gizmodo)

Gizmodo tried to test out the feature, and while we were able to see the product tag, and select colour/size options, the checkout option wasn’t immediately available to some people. Instead, it brought up a “View on Website” option.

This may just be a case of the feature still rolling out gradually to users. Gizmodo has reached out to Instagram for further clarification on the timing of the release and we’ll update this post when we hear back.

So far, Instagram says the feature will only be available in the mobile app and users will only be able to buy items one at a time, according to a report from BuzzFeed News.

An Instagram spokesperson also told BuzzFeed that it eventually plans to include more retailers in the beta and that the product tags won’t be given priority when it comes to visibility in your feeds.

As for what Instagram gets out of the deal? Money, duh. And your data. A Recode report cites Instagram saying it gets a cut from each purchase, though it declined to clarify just how big or small that cut will be.

Instagram product executive Ashley Yuki also told Recode that yes, any info collected as part of the transaction could be fed into Facebook’s larger advertising business (as, you know, Facebook owns Instagram).

[Instagram via BuzzFeed News]