Instagram is increasingly an attractive platform for retailers trying to sell everything from lamps to movie tickets. So, would the company have any interest in a new app that, as reported, could do just that?
The company executive leading its work with brands, Vishal Shah, didn’t exactly offer a “No.” But Shah made clear that his current focus is expanding the ways in which sellers can advertise products to the billion users currently on the main app and the 90 million people using it to shop.
Shah laid out an expansive vision for shopping on Instagram — and described what sounds like the idea for a standalone app, but built into the existing infrastructure. Shah said the company would soon be testing a dedicated shopping channel on its Explore tab to see if that grabs users who are intentionally looking to spend some cash.
“It’s the equivalent of walking down the street on the way to dinner and seeing an interesting product in the window, and then walking in. You didn’t set out to shop. You just came across a product. That’s what I think feed and Stories really does well,” Shah said. “There is a more intentional job in shopping which is, ‘I actually want to shop.’ So shopping as a hobby, shopping as entertainment.”
Shah said Instagram would soon roll out shopping stickers to all businesses’ Stories page, not just to their feeds. The primary goal is to make Instagram the place where impulsive, “serendipitous” shoppers — not those doing “window-shopping” — find products that they want to buy, though the company is now moving onto the turf of the latter with the Explore tab.
So, no separate app? Shah dodged a couple times but did eventually allow that it made sense to focus on where its massive user base lives today, rather than requiring a new download.
“We think the leverage — both from a use-case perspective as well as where the people are — is to do that in the product,” he said. “We have a billion monthly active users; it makes sense to go where they are.”
Watch the full session here:
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.