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With photos, IGTV, and now shopping, you never have to leave Instagram

Updated Nov 17th, 2018 8:47AM EST
Instagram shopping features
Image: Simon Belcher/imageBROKER/REX/Shutterstock

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Just in time for the holidays, the app that used to be everybody’s favorite photo-sharing service has expanded its feature set yet again, with new additions that don’t have anything to do with sharing images with your friends.

Then again, this is in keeping with the way things have been going at Instagram for a while now. We recently got IGTV: A kind of YouTube alternative and a place where we can watch longer form video content within the app. It scratches the same itch, albeit in a slightly different way, as Instagram’s super-popular disappearing Stories feature. And now the Facebook-owned service, with the holidays right around the corner, is rolling out new shopping-related features built around video, tabs, and profiles.

When you think about it, it makes the recent addition of the app’s “Your Activity” status — the tool that lets you see how long you spend inside Instagram, in hopes you’ll curb your excessive time-wasting — seem a little odd, doesn’t it? With the app continually adding one new feature after another, it’s almost as if it never wants you to leave.

But we digress. Following up on the expansion of shopping on Instagram in September via the introduction of product stickers in Stories and a shopping channel within “Explore,” here are the new additions:

First, you’ve now got the ability to save to new shopping-related collections.

Per Instagram: “Now when you come across a must-have item, save it to your Shopping collection to revisit it later. When you tap a product tag in Stories or Feed, tap the Save icon in the bottom right corner to save it to your Shopping collection. Just like existing collections, you can access your Shopping collection from your profile. It’s an easy way to keep your wish list up-to-date and store creative gift ideas for the holidays.”

Additionally, the service is testing a redesign of the “Shop” tab on business profiles which would let you quickly get a sense of all the products featured in their shopping posts. When you’re checking out a business profile within Instagram, tap the “Shop” button, and you can see all of their products, including the prices.

Finally, you can now also “shop” from within videos posted by your favorite brands. Again, per Instagram: “When you see a video in Feed from a brand you follow, tap the shopping icon in the bottom left corner to reveal the featured products and learn more about them.”

Say what you will about how many people you think will or won’t take advantage of these features, but the timing is impeccable. After all, we’ve only got a few days to go before the busiest shopping week of the holiday season, so it’s no wonder that Instagram wants to give you more ways to spend, spend, spend.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.