Facebook-owned photo sharing platform Instagram has announced that shopping is now available on its short videos (TikTok lookalike) section Reels. The feature has started rolling out globally today and will allow users, businesses, and influencers to tag their Reels with products that users can click-through and buy, or save for later. This comes after the company announced shopping tags on IGTV videos in October. Instagram had then said that a similar feature for Reels will be coming soon.
The new update also brings a branded content tag that influencers can use for paid posts. With this rollout, Instagram now offers shopping available in all formats - posts, stories, Live, IGTV, and now Reels. Shopping is an important revenue stream for Instagram and parent Facebook. Given that Instagram is a visual medium, and users often look for product inspirations on Instagram, adding the ability to buy a product directly from the post can be immensely profitable for Instagram, as well as businesses as Instagram is said to provide them an extra (and hugely popular) online medium. Instagram also uses Facebook Pay and includes e-commerce features such as a basket and checkout pages, so users never leave the app while buying a product.
The arrival of shopping on Reels is said to be a part of the company's move to provide more functionality over the past few months, including the integration of Messenger and Instagram DMs.
Incidentally, this comes at a time when Facebook has been served with a lawsuit sponsored by 48 states in the US, questioning the social media giant's market dominence, its use of power, and have proposed that the company be broken up.