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Instagram developing ecommerce app

If you've ever felt that there simply aren't enough ways to spend your money on the internet, we have some great news for you: Instagram is reported to be developing its own shopping app.

According to The Verge, this new app, possibly called IG Shopping, will enable you to check out collections of goods from merchants you follow on Instagram and then buy them within the app.

Instagram has been flirting with ecommerce for a while now; it started trialling shopping services in 2016 and rolled them out more widely in 2017; companies can tag up to five products per image and add product details and pricing, so that customers can get information and then make a purchase through the companies' own mobile sites. 

And then this year Instagram announced that it was testing shopping within Instagram Stories, using product stickers enabling people to quickly get information about featured products and then go on to buy them.

Instagram shopping

Instagram has been rolling out ecommerce functionality for the last couple of years

It's far from certain that IG Shopping will even come to fruition; according to The Verge, Instagram has refused to comment. However it makes perfect sense for Instagram to come up with an ecommerce solution that keeps everything and everyone within its own app, rather than sending users off to various ecommerce websites, and this could be great news for creatives who want to sell their wares through the platform.

Of course, this thinking might not carry through to the users themselves; expecting them to install a whole new app specifically for shopping might be a bit of an ask; we'll have to see what sort of incentives Instagram can dangle in front of users – and also merchants – to encourage them to buy into IG Shopping.

Instagram is certainly in a good position to move further into the ecommerce business; we'll be keeping an eye on this story to see how it develops. Watch this space.

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Jim McCauley

Jim McCauley is a writer, cat-wrangler and occasional street performer who's written for a multitude of publications over the past quarter of a century, including Creative Bloq, T3, PC Gamer and a whole load of long-dead print magazines.