Instagram Hints Designers Could Soon Sell Their Products Directly Via Platform

[Click here to the video in this article]

Image via Worawee Meepian /

At last month’s ‘Design in the Age of Instagram’ panel discussion, held in collaboration with Dezeen at Milan, Instagram’s Head of Design Ian Spalter suggested that the brand was working on potentially enabling designers to sell their products through its platform, directly to their followers.

Spalter expressed that he’d love to see Instagram become a medium that helps small business garner greater success, adding that this “would be a great opportunity.”

While Instagram currently has a shopping feature, it pulls users out of Instagram and into the brand’s dedicated website for purchase. In 2016, Instagram started enabling brands to tag their products with pricing details for users to click on, before they were redirected to external websites for checkout. Although this function was initially available solely to major fashion retailers, Instagram hasn’t ruled out the option of opening it up to smaller organizations.

Spalter also shed light on Instagram’s plan to let its users purchase directly within the social media network, and utilize it to pay for various goods and services, much like what its competitor WeChat offers to those in China.

Designer Yves Behar, one of the panelists at the talk, added that Instagram harnesses much potential to help young studios and independent design brands to grow.

“For designers, [Instagram] becomes a way for them to communicate and sell directly their customers,” he said. “If you connect to a thousand people – or 10,000 people – with a product or an idea you can sell, then you have a marketplace.”

The explosion of micro-brands, made possible thanks to Instagram, has no doubt been a captivating phenomenon, elaborates Behar.

“[B]rands that you have never heard of but connect with a specific group of people, who are willing to pay and support this designer, I think this could be real progress for designers.”

Hear more about this discussion in Dezeen’s video of the event below.

[via Dezeen, video via Dezeen, image via Worawee Meepian /]


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