Briefing

Instagram adds new feature to let U.S. users shop via app

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On Tuesday, Instagram announced the launch of its new checkout feature, which is currently in closed beta for businesses and only available to U.S. users. The social media giant has partnered with over 20 brands, including Nike, Adidas, Burberry and Michael Kors. Once the feature is expanded, some e-commerce partners will be able to use their stores on Instagram, including Shopify. (Reuters)

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Talking point: The feature is the latest effort from parent company Facebook to make money off Instagram’s rapidly-expanding user base. The move seems like a positive development for Shopify, making its platform accessible to Instagram’s one billion users. However, it also puts Instagram in more direct competition with Shopify as the former expands its ability to offer stores e-commerce options to its already massive audience. Markets may be concerned about the latter, as Shopify’s stock was down 2.4 per cent in late afternoon trading. RBC analyst Ross MacMillan shared those concerns, saying that the new service could take market share from Shopify.