Instagram’s shopping stickers for businesses see wide rollout

instagram shopping from stories launches shoppablestories
Screenshot by Instagram / Image by Negative Space on Pexels

Stickers are more than just photo bling — inside Instagram Stories, a new sticker makes it possible for fans to shop for the items in the photos. Instagram users can now shop inside Stories, expanding the earlier option of shopping from the Instagram feed. After announcing the stickers with select partners in June, Instagram opened shoppable stickers to all businesses on Monday, September 17, and announced a new test for the feature.

Stories that users can shop are marked with a shopping bag icon inside a sticker. Tapping on the shopping sticker takes users to additional details about the product, with an option to buy. In the first images of the feature, Instagram shared a simple text-free shopping bag sticker along with a shopping bag sticker that lists the product name. For Instagrammers that have tried using Google to find an item inside a photo, the feature is likely welcome, while others may see the shopping stickers as one more way ads are coming to the social media app. 

Instagram will also now be testing a “shopping channel” inside Explore. Like other items inside Explore, the content is tailored to each user. The shopping option in Explore will suggest products using those shoppable Stories. Instagram says the shopping channel inside Explore is only in testing for now, but the company expects to expand the feature over the next few weeks.

The inspiration for the shopping stickers stems from a survey designed to pinpoint what helps capture users attention in the Stories format best. In the survey, some Instagrammers said they watched Stories to stay up to date on brands, get an insider view, and discover new products. Of course, Instagram will likely get a cut of the sales that stem from Stories.

Around 400 million users now use Stories on Instagram, the sharing format that creates a slideshow of photos and videos, then deletes it all to start fresh the following day. As the format grows, Instagram continues to expand the available features, including a share option for Stories, bulk uploads, a type mode, and expanded Stories ads. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Instagram’s parent company Facebook, says that Stories will continue to be a focus for the company as the format continues to grow.

The sticker has the existing shopping options on Instagram bleeding over into Stories. Inside the news feed, businesses can already tag products that are featured inside a photo, allowing users to tap to find more details or navigate to the full online store. The update brings a similar feature to Stories by allowing fast access to details on the products inside the photo by tapping the sticker.

Like the Stories format itself, shopping Stories isn’t an Instagram original idea. Earlier in 2018, Snapchat launched its own store for merchandise that uses the Stories format, with users swiping up to buy.

Social Media

Instagram’s 2018 year in review shines a light on where our hearts are

What did Instagram users share the most in 2018? A lot of heart emojis, heart face filters, and heart GIFs. The platform recently shared the year's top trends, including hashtags like #fortnite and #metoo along with a few surprises.
Home Theater

These awesome A/V receivers will swarm you with surround sound at any budget

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to shopping for a receiver, so we assembled our favorites for 2018, at multiple price points and all loaded with features, from Dolby Atmos to 4K HDR, and much more.
Computing

Style up your MacBook Air with one of these great cases or sleeves

Whether you’re looking for added protection or a stylish flourish, you’re in the right place for the best MacBook Air cases. We have form-hugging cases, luxurious covers and padded sleeves priced from $7 to $130. Happy shopping!
Social Media

Instagram could be making a special type of account for influencers

Instagram influencers fall somewhere between a business profile and a typical Instagram, so the company is working on developing a type of account just for creators. The new account type would give creators more access to analytical data.
Photography

Canon holiday sale features the Rebel T6 2-lens kit for just $449

If you have a budding photographer in your life in need of a real camera, the Canon EOS Rebel T6 could make the perfect gift. Canon is currently offering the camera in a two-lens bundle for just $449 through December 29.
Emerging Tech

Light, speed: Lighting kit for DJI Mavic 2 lets you fly and film in the dark

Lume Cube, maker of small battery-powered LED lights for mobile photography, has announced a new lighting kit built specifically for the DJI Mavic 2 -- the first of its kind. Already our favorite drone, this makes the Mavic 2 even better.
Mobile

Leave the laptop at home, the iPad Pro is the travel buddy to take on vacay

The iPad Pro is a powerful tablet that's perfect for creatives and professionals. How does it fare when traveling with it as a laptop replacement? We took it on a two week trek in Japan to find out.
Deals

Want a fun, affordable instant camera? The Fujifilm Instax Mini 7S is just $49

Instant cameras have had a surprising resurgence of late, and no brand is better recognized in the instant photo space today than Fujifilm Instax. Walmart is currently offering the Instax Mini 7S for just $49.
Photography

Not just for Lightroom anymore, Loupedeck+ now works with Photoshop

Loupedeck+ can now help photographers edit in Photoshop too, thanks to physical controls for swapping tools, running actions, and more. The photo-editing console expanded to include Photoshop in the list of compatible editing programs.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Computing

Need a monitor for professional photo-editing? These are the very best

Looking for the best monitor for photo editing? You'll need to factor in brightness, color accuracy, color gamut support and more. Fortunately, we've rounded up the best ones for you, to help you make an educated purchase.
Photography

2018 was a terrific year for new cameras. Here are our favorites

This year, we saw the unveiling of several exciting new cameras. We look back at our favorite models -- each delivering something unique, yet all are powerful and feature-rich. Camera fans, rejoice!
Photography

Grit and gear: How Chris Hershman went from retail clerk to music video director

How did Chris Hershman go from working a music retail job to working with bands like NEEDTOBREATHE and Switchfoot? The music video director and filmmaker talks to us about video, tech, and Nikon's new mirrorless.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!