So last week I wrote about a new Instagram service from Piqora that wanted to offer a way to make the photo app shoppable. It wasn't perfect, there were still a few steps involved, but it seemed like social media and software startups were going to need to develop workaround solutions since Instagram itself wasn't making any moves towards better shopping integration. Instagram wanted users to stay on the platform, not follow URL's off to the web, never to return.
Well, yesterday Instagram introduced a new advertising format that allows brands to create a carousel of photos, and ends with a "Learn More" button that takes the consumer to a brand page on an internal browser. With one touch, the user is taken back to the regular platform.
While this still exists within an advertisement perspective, and not on a brand's own Instagram photo feed, it at least shows the company recognizes both brands and users want a better solution. Not everyone is willing to click around to the URL in the main profile, to end up on a mobile site, to then navigate further to the specific product you saw in a picture. Pinterest - with its newish shoppable pictures and analytics - serves as an important and lucrative referral channel for the luxury eCommerce company I'm currently working with, I can assume Instagram wants in on the action.