Instagram brings in-app shopping cart to all US businesses

And Facebook will get a ‘shop’ section of its own.

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Karissa Bell
August 25, 2020 11:00 AM
BERLIN, GERMANY - OCTOBER 05: The Logo of photo and video-sharing social networking service Instagram is displayed on a smartphone on October 05, 2018 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images)
Thomas Trutschel via Getty Images

Instagram is finally flipping the switch on the in-app shopping cart it’s been testing for more than a year. The company will soon open up its checkout on Instagram feature, which allows users to browse and buy products without leaving the Instagram app, to all US-based businesses.

With the update, which will be available “in the coming weeks,” US-based business will be able to take advantage of Instagram’s in-app checkout. Instagram has already allowed businesses to create dedicated shopping pages, but its checkout feature has been limited to a handful of pages. Unlike shops that force users to an outside website to actually buy a product, checkout makes the transaction a seamless part of Instagram browsing. And the back-end of the transaction is handled by Facebook, or one of its third-party partners like Shopify, so users don’t have to worry about handing credit card info over to an unknown merchant.

The company says it plans to waive the fees normally associated with these purchases until the end of the year due to the “current economic crisis.” 

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Facebook is testing shopping features in Messenger.

The expansion comes as Facebook makes shopping features increasingly prominent throughout its apps. Instagram has also been testing “live shopping,” which lets businesses and influencers sell products during live streams, and the company plans to replace Instagram’s “activity” section with a dedicated shopping tab later this year. The social network said Tuesday it’s also testing a dedicated “shop” section in the Facebook app. The company also plans to allow businesses to sell products to customers directly through WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram Direct. 

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