Instagram launches Product Tagging API for Reels

Product tagging was made available to all US users in Feed earlier this year.

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Instagram is launching new developer tools that expand product tagging in the platform.

The Meta-owned company said Monday it is bringing the Product Tagging API to Reels, which is Meta's short-form video format.

“Enabling product tagging via the Instagram API reduces product tagging friction by meeting sellers where they are directly in their workflows,” the company wrote. “And, using product tagging in Reels allows brands to drive product discovery with engaging short-form video while responding to product trends and embedding their brands in culture.”

The feature is integrated with partners including Dash Hudson, Hootsuite, Later, Sprout Social, and Sprinklr. It can also be integrated by any content publishing API partner.

This comes after the platform rolled out product tagging to everyone using the platform in its feed, which includes photos and carousel posts, earlier this year. Shopping expanded to Reels in 2020.

Brands and other merchants can add product tags for specific items that are featured in posts. Clicking on the tag takes users to a product detail page within Instagram. Purchases can be made directly within the app, or on a store website.

Instagram has been emphasizing Reels as it seeks to grow short-form video and AI-powered discovery to compete with TikTok. Reels plays on Facebook and Instagram increased 50% from six months ago and were incremental to time spent on the app, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on the company’s recent Q3 earnings call.

In turn, Instagram is reconfiguring its approach to shopping this year. As The Information reported last month,

the app's team is testing removal of the Shop tab as it seeks to create a commerce model that is more centered around advertising, and less around direct purchases from in-app Shops.

Monday's expansion sends the latest reminder that product tagging has remained a part of the strategy despite the changes in recent years.

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