Instagram will let you buy products without leaving the app

The brands in the closed beta include Adidas, Nike, H&M and Kylie Cosmetics.

Instagram is moving a little deeper into commerce by allowing you to buy goods without leaving the app. The checkout feature will at first be a closed beta in the US with more than 20 brands involved, including Adidas, Nike, Zara, Kylie Cosmetics, Uniqlo, Burberry, H&M, Mac, Prada and Michael Kors. More brands will join in the coming months.

When you tap on a product tag to see details of an item in the coming weeks, you may see a "Checkout on Instagram" label. Once you're ready to buy, you'll be able to enter your billing and shipping details and confirm the purchase. You can save your payment information for future transactions and manage your orders directly from Instagram. Payment options include credit cards and PayPal. As Instagram makes checkout more widely available, it will support e-commerce platforms such as Shopify, BigCommerce, ChannelAdvisor and CommerceHub.

Instagram's direct checkout option has seemed inevitable for some time. Around 130 million people tap on shopping posts to reveal product tags each month, an increase of 40 million since September, when a Shopping channel arrived in the Explore tab. From Instagram's perspective, adding a way to buy items directly within the app should prevent people from going to an external website for purchases, and perhaps keep them locked into using Instagram a little longer.