Instagram wants you to tag products the way you tag people

The shopping mall-ification of Instagram continues.


Instagram tags are no longer just for other accounts. The app is expanding its product tagging feature so that any user can tag specific items within their post. Up until now, product tagging has only been available to businesses and creators, but over “the next few months,” Instagram will allow all US users to access the tags.

Tagging a product works the same way as tagging another account — users can add them to feed posts by tapping on specific areas of their image. Product tags are available for businesses that have a shop on Instagram.

While creators often use product tags in sponsored content or posts promoting businesses they partner with, people using the product tags won’t get anything if one of their followers makes a purchase via their post. The company says the feature is intended to help people “support their favorite small businesses.”

However, Instagram is experimenting with affiliate shops, which allow creators to earn a commission when their followers make a purchase, elsewhere in its app. And company executives have suggested they want to expand the app’s revenue-generating features to more people over time as part of their ambition to grow a “creator middle class.”