Instagram on Thursday launched "Shopping in Reels," the company confirmed to Retail Dive. The launch comes after the platform initially announced the service in October.
The feature allows merchants and creators to tag products when they create Reels on Instagram, the company confirmed.
Users can tap a "View Products" button to purchase, save or learn more about the products tagged within the Reels. Creators can also add a branded content tag to Reels if they are collaborating with brands to promote products, the company said.
Retailers have to evolve how they reach young consumers based on which social platforms are at the top of the pack at any given time.
As such, TikTok has become an important tool for marketers to reach Gen Z and other audiences, which is why retailers have been experimenting with the platform and were closely watching the acquisition process that took place this year. To help more merchants reach customers on the platform, TikTok teamed up with Shopify in October to create new e-commerce features. Shopify also created its own channel on the app.
But as TikTok grows in popularity, Facebook has introduced its Instagram Reels feature and other tools as an alternative to the emerging app. In August, Instagram introduced the Reels feature in the U.S. and other markets internationally to allow users to create short video clips and add music tracks or other effects to them.
In October, Instagram announced it would bring shopping features into Reels and IGTV, a move which could compete directly with rivals like TikTok. Research from Socialbakers earlier this year indicated that Instagram's audience size and top 50 brand profiles had overtaken its parent company, Facebook. Socialbakers' report indicated ad spending on Instagram Stories, another feature more directly competitive with Snapchat's disappearing posts model, had increased since last year and eventually comprised 10% of the platform's overall ad spend at the end of the fourth quarter last year.
The integration of shopping on social media has been ongoing, and shoppable content has taken hold across many channels, with Poshmark testing shoppable stories, Google introducing a video shopping platform, LG TV launching a shopping app and Verishop testing shoppable content from select brands and influencers.