Instagram bets big on shopping, mentoring talent in India

Instagram bets big on shopping, mentoring talent in India

Instagram bets big on shopping, mentoring talent in India

Mumbai, November 1 (IANS) Facebook-owned Instagram is gearing up to mentor talents across 15 cities in India as the platform focuses on enhancing shopping experience for its users in the country with Augmented Reality (AR), a top company executive said here on Friday.

Creators will be mentored under the "Born on Instagram" initiative, Vishal Shah, Instagram's VP of Products, told reporters here.

"Right now, people can discover products on Instagram but they cannot buy them directly in the app. In the US, we are testing payment integration so that users can directly shop in the app," said Shah.

"We want to bring this feature to more markets," he added, without giving any timeline for the launch of the feature in India.

Showcasing how Augmented Reality (AR) can improve the shopping experience, Shah said that Instagram has collaborated with a few brands that focus on beauty products on the new feature.

The feature allows users to try in a virtual scenario how new products will look on them before making the purchase.

Instagram said it would collaborate with more brands on the feature in the future .

As WhatsApp plans to launch digital payments feature in India, integrating it with Instagram could provide a huge boost for the creators' community on the photo and video-sharing platform.

Shah said that Instagram is working on hiding the like button from the feed.

"Instagram is a platform for expression. It's not a contest.

"But people will express only when they feel safe. So safety is core to everything we do," he added.

While the Restrict feature allows users to prevent online bullies reaching them, the platform also alerts users to review comment if it includes objectionable content.

Instagram's Threads feature allows users to interact only with close friends within the platform's messaging ecosystem. The feature allows users complete control over who they interact with.

Globally, over a billion people use Instagram.

A report by digital media agency WATConsult's Recogn last month said that 84 per cent of Instagram users globally are likely to shop using the photo-sharing platform.

More than 75 per cent of the shoppers said they had a satisfactory experience while shopping from the platform and most are likely to shop in the future.