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Instagram is switching up its features. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons user TheMostAmazingTechnik)

Instagram's 'tap to view' function makes impulse buying even easier

Instagram now allows you to shop brands during your routine late-night scrolling. The feature seems to nullify the virtual shopaholic’s cap on one pair of jeans a month and any hope of holding on to the remainder of that paycheck. 

Instagram’s “tap to view products” feature does not only inform the viewers about the price but also gives one the opportunity to purchase the item within the app. Instead of the cumbersome action of opening a new page to access the virtual attire, one can simply tap the screen and click on the price tag. The app then redirects the user to the checkout page. 

The app announced the introduction of the “tap to view products” feature in its blog. It said with the addition of the feature, Instagram is “giving businesses the power to create and tag a post with products directly from their iOS mobile phone. Once a business has a product catalog connected to their account, tagging an item is as simple as tagging a person in a post.”

Instagram was previously based off a model that made it difficult for retailers to make money off the app. While users could engage and comment on the pictures of the products, to purchase the items they had to search it on their own in the respective websites. 

In fact, the “tap to view products” feature paired with hashtags has made it easier for independent and small-scale businesses to establish themselves on Instagram. It allows users to fairly easily find or follow the products they are looking for and purchase them on the same platform. According to the instructions posted by Facebook, Instagram's parent company, the retail information regarding the products on sale needs to be added to Facebook, and up to five products can be tagged in one post. The feature is defunct, however, on multi-image posts, Boomerangs and animated GIFs.

With more than 15 million business profiles, Instagram has successfully combined the two strong forces of the technological world: e-commerce and social media. One of the primary goals of brands pursuing social media is to use the element of engagement with the brand along with advertising that is exclusively offered by the platform. Now, brands can showcase their products, spark conversation and simultaneously allow the audience to purchase said products on the same site. 

The “tap to view products” feature on Instagram seems to have bridged the gap between the buyer and the seller with ease by interlinking the curation and acquisition process unlike the traditionally constructed websites. 


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