Instagram Is Testing In-App Ordering Through Stories

Published on May 28, 2019

Social media marketers, take note. Users have recently spotted the option to add an “order” and “product” sticker within Instagram Stories on certain accounts. The function clearly means that Instagram is toying with the idea of adding in-app ordering within stories. In recent years, the company has made the app more friendly to marketing by giving businesses and influencers the opportunity to add links to stories if the account has more than 10,000 followers on the app. Instagram has proven to be one of the most powerful marketing tools in the modern technology world, so to see the app migrate toward more user-friendly purchasing options means that Instagram is acknowledging its position and moving forward.

Order Sticker Appears In Stories

A twitter (and Instagram, obviously) user named Matt Navarra recently posted screenshots on Twitter that show that the app is toying with the idea of letting users order within an Instagram story. Navarra’s screenshots show two stickers, one showing an “order” sticker next to a green dollar sign. The other showing a “product” sticker next to a shopping bag symbol. Instagram has responded to questions about the features and says that it won’t be implementing any type of in-app purchasing within its stories feature. However, it could mean that the company is toying with ideas on how to expand its in-app shopping infrastructure to allow more streamlined e-commerce inside the app in the future.

With its parent company, Facebook, testing out cryptocurrency infrastructures, Instagram could be headed in the direction of becoming its own full-blown e-commerce platform one day. Forbes speculates that the influencer marketing industry could make up $10 billion of the worldwide economy in the next year. Since Instagram is the primary platform by which influencers market content, products, and services, it means that the social networking app is at the helm of the influencer economy. That’s a lot of money being moved around in the name of Instagram, and the app is working to develop ways in which it could be more friendly for consumers to shop directly within the app.

In-App Purchasing

Even if the future of in-app purchases doesn’t include links to order within Instagram stories, there is no doubt that Instagram is already a few steps ahead of what we see it testing within its app when it comes to shopping infrastructure. Features like in-app checkout have appeared in recent months on brand feeds, including StickerYou. Kylie Cosmetics, for example, sells much of its products within the app itself. For a company like this, which relies entirely on social media and influencer marketing to create brand awareness, Instagram is its key to success.

As it stands now, Instagram is only working with a handful of brands and creator (the formal word for influencer) accounts on the platform. The social networking app isn’t taking a percentage of the sales, but that could change in the future. Overall, the ability to sell products or services directly within the app means that brands and creators will be able to streamline conversion by making it more simple for the user. Instead of seeing coupon codes within the app, users can expect to be able to purchase directly from the influencer on their own.

Julia Sachs is a former Managing Editor at Grit Daily. She covers technology, social media and disinformation. She is based in Utah and before the pandemic she liked to travel.

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