Instagram is looking to step up its status as a digital showroom for retailers.
The Facebook-owned photo-and-video app has begun a test to run a version of Facebook’s shoppable Collection ads within its main feed.
The ad format seeks to digitize the print product catalog by enabling a brand to highlight its wares with an eye-catching video above a swipeable carousel showcasing individual products. People can then tap on the products to visit the brand’s site and buy them.
For now, Instagram is only trying out the format with a limited number of advertisers, but the company plans to open it up to more advertisers in a number of months, according to an Instagram spokesperson.
Instagram has made some tweaks to Facebook’s original version of the Collection format, which was introduced in March 2017. The product carousel appearing below the ad’s main creative element can only contain three product photos on Instagram, as opposed to four on Facebook. Also, while on Facebook, tapping on an individual product opens a product catalog that prioritizes that specific product, on Instagram, tapping on any of the product photos will open the same catalog. From that catalog, people will then be able to click on a product to see it on the brand’s site.