Instagram users who see a preview for a sweater or a pair of sneakers they want to buy can opt in for a release reminder via a sticker in an Instagram Story or a launch tag in their feed. They'll receive a notification 15 minutes before the drop so they can log in and get ready to pull the trigger before the product sells out.
Frustrating product releases are the norm for sneaker collectors, with hyped shoes selling out in seconds. Apps like Nike's SNKRS have tried to curb fans' FOMO with reminders similar to Instagram's new feature. That said, it's not uncommon for app users to still strike out when trying to grab the latest drops, thanks to a combination of high demand and the use of sneaker bots, which automatically purchase an item faster than any human could.
The reminder feature's pilot test will include brands like Adidas, H&M, Mr. Porter, Highsnobiety and Warby Parker. Shoppers who click on the notification will arrive at a page powered by Instagram's in-app purchasing feature called Checkout, which will allow them to complete the purchase. Checkout was released in March for a limited number of brands and influencers. The company says it hopes to add brands daily as the offering matures. Whether or not the reminder function will be available for all brands using Checkout isn't clear, but it would make sense given that the notifications will ostensibly increase sales and earn revenue for both the brands and Instagram.