Instagram’s Done It Again – New Feature Alert

Photo by S O C I A L . C U T on Unsplash

Instagram’s done it again – it’s silently rolled out a new feature – this time it’s an update to its “Instagram Shopping”, which was originally launched in 2018 .

The platform’s risking user fatigue since this comes hot on the heels of other recent feature announcements that I’ve highlighted in an earlier blog post.

I came across news about this on Twitter where users expressed their frustrations about it.

People were furious at the new update, especially since it replaces the notifications badge, which moved to the top right while the “hamburger” menu moved to the top left. They highlighted that this could impact engagement levels as it’ll be harder to track comments and likes due to the new icon placement.

Image Credit: @girl_from_texas/Twitter

Some observed that this is a potential game changer for the platform, especially for those currently using the “Shopping” Feature and running ads or promoted posts that are linked to physical products.

Instagram Shopping is available in 59 countries but this updated feature is rolling out in the US first.

-On first glance, this will impact a small part of its user base – for now at least. Only Business accounts can use it to promote products but users can shop within the Shop page under the Explore tab using Facebook Pay, which provides secure transactions across Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp. It is currently available in 146 countries.

Image Credit: Instagram

This is a part of the new Instagram Shop platform within the app. It allows users to browse products and categories as well as specifically curated items based on users’ behaviour on the app. However, Instagram will charge a selling fee for businesses using the feature. This is set to bring in a new evergreen revenue stream for the platform.

Instagram’s well on its way to becoming a seamless one-stop ecosystem that encourages users to stay thanks to increased convenience and feature availability.

On one hand, this is great for user in-app interactions. On the other hand, it risks becoming a bloated app that triggers negative connotations similar to Facebook and its never-ending stream of scandals and crises.

I’ll revisit this once the updated feature’s rolled out to more countries as this will give us a clearer view of its pros and cons.


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