Instagram Finally Admits It's a Bra Shopping App

With "Checkout for Instagram," the photo-sharing platform becomes what it was always meant for: shilling.
A person holding a phone with Instagram.
Image via Shutterstock

Instagram is already very good at selling me shit I don’t need. Every time I open the app, I scroll by endless ads for bras and athletic leggings. I was looking for new running shoes recently, so now all of my ads are for Adidas and Reebok. Images of crisp, fluffy duvet covers from aspirational-sounding brands filled my feed when I was shopping for new sheets.

The app for lifestyle shilling has announced a new feature that will make it even easier to take all my money, called “Checkout for Instagram.” When you tap on a brand’s post, tags will appear with product prices, and tapping those tags will direct you to a checkout page.


Currently, clicking on a “Shop Now” link within a post sends you to the seller, or an Amazon listing.

According to a company announcement on Tuesday, users will enter their payment info within the app, instead of at the individual seller’s website:

Once your first order is complete, your information will be securely saved for convenience the next time you shop. You’ll also receive notifications about shipment and delivery right inside Instagram, so you can keep track of your purchase.

I literally cannot imagine a more sinister digital dopamine drip than refreshing package tracking from within Instagram, like some kind of retail turducken of phone addiction. Instagram doesn’t want you to ever need to leave the app for shopping.

TechCrunch demonstrated how this new feature will look within the app:

Checkout is currently in closed beta, with 20 brands testing it first, including Adidas, Nike, H&M, and Warby Parker. (I am truly, financially doomed.) Instagram says it will also take a cut of the seller’s profits, but for these brands it’s probably not enough to outweigh the returns on making buying their shit stupid-easy. A spokesperson for Instagram told TechCrunch: “We aren’t sharing the specific [seller cut] number right now. We are testing a selling fee with businesses during the closed beta. It will not change the price of the items for consumers.”

Instagram started inching away from a place to follow your friends’ over-filtered photos of their babies and lattes a long time ago—now it’s primarily a place to get served a bunch of aesthetically-pleasing advertisements in between influencers shilling even more useless stuff through #ad partnerships with brands. And when Facebook bought Instagram in 2012, it infused the platform with all the targeted advertising powers of Zuckerberg’s social network and the wider internet.

I deleted Facebook from my phone years ago, but now that I never need to leave Instagram to online shop for shit I don’t need, this app is about to get a lot more addictive—or the ads will finally become annoying enough that I delete it, too.