• Since 2018, Instagram has let approved brands and businesses sell products right from their profiles with shoppable posts and checkout features.
  • Instagram announced Tuesday it was loosening the restrictions on who is eligible for Instagram Shopping.
  • Starting July 9, any Instagram user with a business or creator account (rather than a personal account) – including influencers and small sellers – can apply to Instagram Shopping.
  • To be eligible, users have to comply with other criteria: That includes having a connected Facebook page, selling physical goods, and tagging products from a single website they sell from and personally own.
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Millions 0f Instagram users will soon be eligible to make their posts shoppable and turn their accounts into small businesses.

Instagram announced Tuesday it will open up its Shopping features to a wider group, allowing everyone from influencers and small Etsy shop owners to sell products right off of their profile pages. Starting July 9, as long as you have a business or creator account – rather than a personal account – you may be able to apply to use Instagram Shopping.

It’s worth noting you have to apply, and be accepted, to take advantage of these Instagram Shopping features. Instagram has also loosened the requirements needed to be eligible. Before, Instagram required accounts to “primarily” sell physical goods, and connect their account to a Facebook Page. Under the new requirements, eligible accounts are required to “represent” the website products are sold on – meaning your product listings must come from a website that has been verified as a domain you both sell from and own. Accounts must also have “demonstrated trustworthines,” which Facebook says “may also include maintaining a sufficient follower base.”

Today’s expansion of the shoppable capabilities to more users could mean Instagram is trying to become a lucrative direct-to-consumer launchpad for influencers selling merchandise, one-person businesses starting out of their home, and even MLM sellers. If it’s successful, Instagram could become a player in the industry, rivaling platforms like Etsy, Fanjoy, and Redbubble that independent sellers use.

This is the latest step Instagram is taking to turn its platform into a go-to place for brands, businesses, and influencers to make money. In a study published in late 2019, more than one-third of surveyed Instagram users said they had bought something directly from a shoppable ad on the platform. Brands have clamored to Instagram in recent years to take advantage of new e-commerce features on the platform that boasts well north of 1 billion users, as well as a heavy presence among Generation Z.

Instagram first teased last year it was testing its shopping features with influencers and creators, allowing a select few to be able to link out to products in Stories and posts on their feeds and use the Checkout feature to purchase products directly within the app.

Instagram debuted Shopping in 2018 as a way for users to browse, purchase, and order products from brands, exclusively, all without leaving the platform. This May, Instagram added Shops, which allows brands to build virtual storefronts into their accounts for an easier shopping experience.

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