Instagram has announced the availability of a new shopping tool on the platform, or as they call it, product collections. This follows on the photo sharing platform debuting its Checkout feature earlier in 2019 which allowed American businesses to sell products directly to customers directly on Instagram.

The announcement was made by Adam Mosseri, CEO at Instagram, during Facebook's recently held F8 Conference during the last week of April 2019.

"Starting next week, people will be able to shop inspiring looks from the creators they love without leaving Instagram. With the ability to tag products in their posts, creators can make it easy for people to shop their favourite styles on the spot."

Instagram influencers

Instagram has arguably been at the forefront of unintentionally (or was it intentional?) birthing and accelerating the "social media influencer" ecosystem. With many influencers, especially across Africa, they would post their looks or sponsored products and then leave details of where they could be purchased as part of the post. With this new Instagram Shopping feature, influencers will rejoice as it presents them with a great opportunity to monetize their hustle as their followers will be able to shop directly from them without leaving the app.

However, the feature will not be available just yet to everyone as Instagram has said that it will be testing it with a few select influencers, none from Africa.

"We'll begin testing this with a small group of creators over the coming weeks. Creators in the initial test include: Aimee Song, Alissa Ashley, Alondra Ortiz, Alyssa Coscarelli, Annabelle Fleur, Ashley Strong, Blair Eadie, Brittany Xavier, Camila Coelho, Candace Parker, Chriselle Lim, Cole Carrigan, Chiara Ferragni, Dave Gilboa, Devin Brugman, Diana Saldana, Dylana Lim Suarez, Elle USA, Ellen V Lora, Gigi Hadid, GQ, Hannah Bronfman, Huda Kattan, HypeBeast, Isabel Bedoya, Jaleesa Moses, Jen Atkin, Jenny Cipoletti, Juju Smith-Schuster, Karen Gonzalez, Kathleen Fuentes, Katie Sturino, Kevin Ninh, Kimberly Drew, Kim Kardashian West, Kris Jenner, Kylie Jenner, Laura Kim, Madelynn Furlong, Mary Lawless Lee, Mona Kattan, Natalie Lim Suarez, Negin Mirsalehi, Neil Blumenthal, Nikita Dragun, Nicole Warne, Parker Kit Hill, Refinery29, Romero Jennings, Ronnie Fieg, Rosy McMichael, Stephanie Ann Shepherd, Tyler Haney, Vogue and Yovanna Ventura."

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