With Apple having just announced their plan to rival Netflix and the credit card game, are we really surprised that tech brands aren’t satisfied with, quote-on-quote, staying in their lane?

Last week social media platform Instagram announced their step into the world of retail, satisfying their users natural thirst for discovery and shopping in-platform, launching a one-stop shop where users can buy without leaving Instagram.

The Facebook owned app started piloting shoppable feed posts in 2016. Followed by product stickers in Stories and shoppable video posts in June and November 2018, respectively. And now with over 90 million accounts using these every month, it seems like a natural next step.

The process of shopping seems pretty straight forward, to checkout users tap on products they want to purchase in shoppable posts and then will be shown a ‘Checkout On Instagram’ button. Users can then add their payment information and for now, can only buy one thing at a time.

From there, users can track orders in-app with shipping notifications, and have the option to add a PIN for each purchase, for added security. Instagram will also cover refunds and shipping costs to users when brands don’t, covered by anundisclosed selling fee paid by brands.

This could give an interesting voice to smaller retailers-having recently faced a squeeze with increases to selling fees on marketplaces such as eBay & Esty - who do famously well on Instagram, at least in part down to features like their Explore page. More than four out five users say Instagram helps them to make purchasing decisions, with 83% saying it helps them discover new products or services.

For now at least, Instagram will be focusing on partnerships with bigger brands, including Outdoor Voices, Warby Parker and Revolve, and one thing is startlingly obvious-these influencer-first brands who helped build Instagram, have been called first to help them roll out this new feature.

The pilot is available in the US and mobile only for now, however Instagram have stated that they are planning on adding more features to this beta test, which runs till the end of 2019. This includes a multi-item shopping cart and shopping from the desktop version of Instagram, and will also incorporate additional retailers. They have also stated that shoppable posts will not beat the algorithm and gain more visibility on the platform.

This step in blurring the lines between social media and shopping shows how much parent company Facebook believe in the power of Instagram’s content to commerce potential. Poignant as Facebook have had several failed attempts to successfully cross the line into retail previously and their ad revenue is expected to be overshadowed by Instagram by 2020.

With Instagram’s new shopping feature clearly targeting those with a millennial mindset, it’s clear this has huge burgeoning potential--not least because of the ability to track what you’re interested in, but also what you spend your money on.