Instagram is moving full steam ahead in its quest to facilitate discovery and shopping on the platform.
Starting today, the platform will begin offering a feature that lets users save posts from the Instagram home feed. All global users will have this option by the end of the week and will be able to tap a new bookmark icon underneath a post, saving an image or video to a private tab.
The process is different from saving posts a user has liked. That information is already saved under a user’s profile. While there aren’t special features available to advertisers, users will be able to save ads on their saved page.
The new functionality could be important in the discovery and shopping process, as Instagram continues to add shopping-centric updates. In November, Instagram began testing a feature that lets brands add product details to posts and gives users the ability to click on outside links to purchase. It also recently allowed users to share live video and to tag Instagram Stories — its disappearing content feature — with usernames.
Pinterest in November added a similar feature to Instagram’s new saving option that supports the platform’s functionality as a visual inspiration and to-do list. The platform, which has been working hard to encourage the discovery and shopping nature of its content, added the ability to save a sort of “to-do list.” In addition to offering a checkmark option, it allows users to add feedback, notes and photos under the checked Pin. And, like with Instagram, all the Pins that a user has tried exist in a separate section on the user’s profile.
Although Instagram boasts 500 million users to Pinterest’s 150 million, Pinterest is ahead of the game in its positioning as a shopping platform. There are now at least 10 million products for sale on Pinterest, and research has shown that 55 percent of people come to Pinterest to shop.
About 12 percent of people turn to social networks, among them Instagram and Facebook, to shop. Pinterest also reports that 75 percent of the content that people save on Pinterest comes from businesses, of which there are more than one million that use the platform as a tool for commerce.