First, Instagram introduced Checkout, a feature that makes it possible to purchase items directly in the app. Now it’s taking things a step further with its own curated account, aptly called @shop.
Instagram launched the account, which is meant to showcase and introduce different fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands from around the world, on Thursday. As of early afternoon, the account had more than 11,000 followers ―and counting.
″@shop is a celebration of small businesses and the creators behind them,” Instagram said in an emailed statement. “The content on this account is inspired by our community of shoppers — you. @shop is a real-time reflection of our community’s interests across top shopping categories like fashion, beauty, home decor and more.”
Products that have been featured so far include those from millennial-loved makeup brand Glossier Play, handbag company Cafuné and women’s clothing label Sold Out NYC. Brands cannot pay to be featured on the account, which is “100 percent community trends-driven,” a representative for Instagram told HuffPost.
Posts on the account feature captions that provide information about each brand and quotes from founders.
“I think most of us who love to shop like hearing about the background of a product because it makes you appreciate it more,” Eva Chen, Instagram’s head of fashion partnerships, told the website Business of Fashion. “Fundamentally on Instagram, whether you are a person or you’re a brand or you’re a publisher, people want to hear human stories.”
Chen, a social media influencer in her own right with over 1 million Instagram followers, also told BoF that @shop’s target audience is working women in their 20s and 30s. The account will be friendly in tone and is meant to put the spotlight on brands and businesses that “built their voice” on Instagram, Chen told the outlet. That means you’ll likely see brands founded by Instagram influencers, among others.
Naturally, every product that’s featured includes tags that make it easy to tap to shop.
The content curation for @shop will be led by Leigh Belz Ray, the former executive director of branded content at Condé Nast who oversaw Vogue, GQ and W, according to BoF. Belz Ray also worked with Chen at Lucky.
The @shop account is the third human-curated feed to come from Instagram, following the self-titled account and the more recently launched @design account.