In a further step toward becoming an online marketplace, Instagram has launched its own internet retail account internationally under @shop. Its own team recommends products such as shoes, handbags and pullovers, tracking trends and posting their pictures on its social media platform, which is owned by Facebook, just like its users. Each item is accompanied by some text, along with information about the style and its creator. Users can buy the products through the Shopping function. With this service, the company intends mainly to increase the exposure of small businesses and brands. It follows the introduction by Instagram of a Checkout service in the U.S. that has allowed customers to buy some products online through its app. Meanwhile, YNAP, which is now owned by Richemont, has indicated that it will shortly start offering customers the option to buy products directly via Instagram.

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