Last year, Instagram unveiled Shops as part of Facebook’s larger pivot toward e-commerce. Shops is front-and-almost-center on the app’s bottom navigation bar, even more readily accessible than the button to upload a new photo. Now, after testing in the U.S. earlier this month, Instagram will introduce ads on the Instagram Shop tab globally, rolling them out in all countries where the Instagram Shop tab is available.
This marks Instagram’s latest update in evolving its e-commerce platform. It previously implemented shopping in Reels to compete with TikTok, organized exclusive product Drops into their own Shop category and added affiliate features for creators to earn a commission on sales of sponsored products.
Currently, items on Shops appear in a two-column grid of square tiles. Ads will appear as a tile within this structure, but they’ll be marked “Sponsored” in the bottom-left corner of the image. When the ad is clicked, it will open the Product Details page, which shows more information about the item, additional images and other products from the brand. Users can save a product from an ad to their wish list or send it to a friend — if the ad is inappropriate, they can press and hold its tile to see options to hide or report the ad.
Instagram tested Shops ads with U.S. advertisers like Away, Donny Davy, Boo Oh, Clare paint, JNJ Gifts, DEUX and Fenty Beauty. As TechCrunch previously reported, these ads will launch with an auction-based model and only appear on mobile, since Shops isn’t available on desktop. A user’s experience with these ads will depend on how they use Instagram and how many people are shopping in the Instagram tab.