Facebook pushing ‘visual discovery shopping’ on Instagram: Augmented Reality could power virtual trials just like Snapchat and Pinterest?

Facebook Instagram Online Shopping
Facebook pushing online shopping tools Pic credit: Marco Verch/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Facebook is pushing eCommerce aggressively inside Instagram. Some of the latest experimental features to boost in-app shopping includes “virtual discovery” as well as virtual trials using Augment Reality.

Camera-based Augmented Reality shopping is coming to Instagram, revealed Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. Presumably taking cues from Snapchat and Pinterest, Facebook is pushing visual search which draws from image searches and pushes products.

Facebook adds new shopping tools based on image searches:

Social media giant Facebook is actively involved in “Visual Search” technology, which is similar to Google’s “Reverse Image Search”. However, instead of just offering similar images, the feature will offer online shopping opportunities for similar-looking or matching items.

Moving ahead, when users click on the images they see or like on Instagram, Facebook will actively suggest similar-looking products for sale. For example, a user clicking on an image of a floral dress on the social media network could find similar outfits currently on sale in Instagram Shops.

Needless to mention, Instagram hosts these “Shops” which are essentially third-party businesses. Instagram will start testing the new shopping feature later this year in the U.S. The feature could expand to other regions before the current year ends.

Speaking about the new feature, Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said: “A lot of shopping discovery begins with visual discovery, right, so you see something that you think is awesome. When you find something, you’ll be able to tap on it and find similar products that people across all of our shops are selling the moment that you see something that you like.”

“Maybe you want to see other products that are like that, or you want to figure out how to get that product. And this is the type of problem that AI can really help out with. We think that visual search is going to be really helpful in making photos shoppable Instagram overall,” indicated Zuckerberg.

Instagram Shops to arrive on Marketplace and WhatsApp, with Augmented Reality virtual trials:

The Facebook CEO also announced that Facebook Shops will soon arrive on FB Marketplace and even WhatsApp. Incidentally, the social media giant has already started integrating product catalogs into WhatsApp chats

Moving ahead, businesses will be able to create storefronts for the chat app. Additionally, sellers will get to use Augmented Reality tools to help prospective buyers virtually try on products.

The AR-driven backend should be open to companies that already rely on ModiFace or PerfectCorp technology. Simply put, Facebook is actively exploring and deploying tools that boost eCommerce and online shopping on all its platforms. And it is open to collaboration.

The social media giant repeatedly insists that it is helping small businesses that had to shut down their brick-and-mortar shops during the pandemic. These businesses need to develop a habit of selling goods online, and the company is helping them, insists Facebook.

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