The Jakarta Post
The standalone app would allow users to directly purchase products from merchant accounts. (Shutterstock/File)
Instagram is reportedly working on a standalone app that would be dedicated to shopping.
The Verge reported that the app, which could be named IG Shopping, would allow users to directly purchase products from merchant accounts.
Instagram declined to comment on the news and there is no information on when the app would be launched as it is still being developed with a possibility of being cancelled before its release.
Sources who are familiar with the development, however, say that Instagram believes it is well on its way to making a major expansion into e-commerce.
The social media platform is already home to 25 million businesses, of which 2 million are advertisers, Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg said in the company's most recent earnings call.
As many as four in five Instagram users follow at least one business account. A standalone app would serve as spin-off shopping platform and expand opportunities for revenue.
Instagram began testing a shopping feature in November 2016 that it subsequently rolled out more broadly in March last year, which allows companies to tag posts with individual products. A click on the tag would take users to a page with product details and its price before another click to the website to purchase the product.
Instagram is now testing another a feature that lets users shop from Instagram stories. (liz/wng)