Facebook & Instagram expand ecommerce power, add new tools for content creators

Facebook and Instagram have launched a suite of features and solutions this year to further embed the platforms as one-stop-shop for content and ecommerce.

According to Facebook’s APAC, vice president, global business group, Dan Neary, the social media giant has seen an acceleration in digital transformation, spurred by the COVID-29 pandemic, which has resulted in 85% of people globally now participating in e-commerce.

“New habits will endure beyond the new normal,” he said. “And as the world becomes more digital, cross border commerce will become more important.”

During the year the platform launched a Shops function across Facebook and Instagram as a new way for businesses to sell products and services. Sellers who previously had an Instagram profile shop and/or Facebook Page have been prompted to convert to Shops. 

Facebook’s Shops function on mobile.

Facebook and Instagram are using the momentum in engagement to bring brands and products closer to customers via this new function.

“Immediacy of shopping in real time enables a business to build trust and connections with customers in a way that they would not have been able to do offline,” said Kaylie Smith, Instagram director of market operations Asia Pacific.

The Facebook-owned platform which turned ten this year has seen a spike in users and marketing dollars.

Smith said that “no other platform around connects people, community and interest like Instagram”, which is why it has seen user numbers climb to over one billion per month.

“Commerce is a core priority for us,” said Smith. “As online shopping behaviour grows … we will continue to invest in commerce to make it easy for people to shop and buy from businesses right at that moment of discovery on Instagram.

“Our vision is to help people find new things they love and then take action within Instagram.”

In recent months Instagram has launched a suite of new features for advertisers to get closer to users, such as the dedicated Shops tab, Branded Reels and is currently testing Branded Live.

“Branded content is a powerful tool for creators and businesses alike. We want to ensure that creators can clearly disclose they are creating branded content,” explained Smith.

The introduction of new features on the platform such as the Branded Live tab will make it easier for business, creators and brands to collaborate according to Smith, who added that the platform would be looking to add monetisation features for content creators.

“This will continue to be a focus area for us throughout the next year, as we build out a suite of monetisation tools that support creators’ needs, and ambitions, and help them to make a living on our platform,” she said.

Instagram also added a Guides feature to the platform last month. The curation tool allows businesses or individuals to recommend favourite places, restaurants, products, etc.


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