Instagram announced today that it is adding a new feature to its app that will help connect online shoppers with product drops. Drops, a more recent e-commerce trend, that assists sellers in building buzz for upcoming products in the days and weeks preceding their availability. The products themselves are frequently available in limited quantities or for a limited time period, driving up demand.

Drops on Instagram now have their own section at the top of the Shop tab, where consumers can discover, browse, and shop all of the latest product launches, as well as view upcoming launches. Additionally, shoppers can sign up to receive reminders about products they’re interested in, as well as browse products and collections from recent Instagram drops.

 

As with other online shopping options available through Instagram, consumers can purchase Drops directly within the Instagram app via Checkout on Instagram, rather than visiting third-party websites. This model will eventually enable Instagram to collect fees on purchases, which has become a more critical component of Facebook and Instagram’s overall business model in the wake of Apple’s privacy crackdown on iOS apps, which has impacted Facebook’s ad revenue.

However, Instagram has temporarily waived its selling fees in order to assist businesses recovering from last year’s COVID outbreak. Additionally, the move will aid it in gaining market share in online shopping against new competitors, including TikTok.

Before today, brands on Instagram were already conducting drops, following Instagram’s release of a product reminders feature in 2019 that enabled consumers to be notified when an item of interest became available for purchase. The feature has been used by brands across fashion, beauty, streetwear, and other categories, the company says, including Hill House Home, Dragun Beauty, and adidas.

The new Drops location simply consolidates product launches into one screen to facilitate browsing and shopping. According to Instagram, it curates the featured drops in this section. To be considered, brands must utilize the Checkout with Instagram product launch feature.

Consumers can view information about when a product became available, its price, and other item details on an individual brand’s page within Drops. Additionally, they can bookmark the item to add it to a Wishlist or use Instagram’s direct messaging feature to share the drop with a friend. Users can return to their Cart or Wishlist at any time from the top of the Drops page to complete the checkout process — provided they are not too late.

Additionally, the brand’s Live shopping can be scheduled to coincide with the launch of a new product. When a brand goes live for a drop, there is a countdown on-screen and confetti animation to indicate the product is now available.

Currently, the new feature is available only in the Instagram app in the United States and on mobile devices (iOS and Android), not on the web.