The Verge reports that according to “according to two people familiar with the matter” that Instagram is in the process of developing an eCommerce shopping app.
With more than 25 million businesses already using Instagram and about 2 million advertising on the platform, the “sources familiar with its development say Instagram believes it is well positioned to make a major expansion into e-commerce.”
There are no details on how this app would work and if it would integrate somehow with Facebook, Instagram’s parent company.
Over the last few years, Instagram has been adding features to its platform to allow merchants to use the platform as a better marketing tool.
It even formed partnerships with some eCommerce platforms such as BigCommerce and Shopify that give its merchants the ability to post products from their stores on the platform.
If Instagram follows through with the eCommerce app, it could become a significant competitor to marketplaces like eBay, Etsy, and others.
But due to Instagram’s size of users and the possibility to build out a general marketplace style shopping experience, eBay could find itself being the main loser in such a scenario.
Unlike specialized marketplaces such as Etsy, Instagram could easily scale to offer a large number of shopping categories that could become a significant competitor to eBay.
Overnight, eBay could find itself defending its turf to a marketplace with over 800 million users, almost five times the size of eBay.
The social media platform has also been experimenting with payments and dinner reservations, potentially disrupting other eCommerce segments.
Certainly, this is an interesting development and with so many online merchants finding Instagram is already a good marketing tool, a dedicated shopping app could be a significant shift for many online retailers.
Instagram declined to comment to The Verge about any further details about this app or the development time.
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