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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.
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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Labor disputes on the West Coast could cause further disruption heading into peak season.
When the first half of 2023 is complete, imports are expected to dip 22% below last year.
That’s according to new data from the Global Port Tracker, which is compiled monthly by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.
The decline has been building over the entire year, as imports dipped in the winter. With the spring, volume started to rebound. In April, the major ports handled 1.78 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units. That was an increase of 9.6% from March. Still it was a decline of 21.3% year over year – reflecting the record cargo hauled in over the spike in consumer demand of 2021 and the inventory glut 2022.
In 2023, consumer spending is remaining resilient with in a strong job market, despite the collision of inflation and interest rates. The economy remains different from pre-pandemic days, but shipping volumes are beginning to once again resemble the time before COVID-19.
“Economists and shipping lines increasingly wonder why the decline in container import demand is so much at odds with continuous growth in consumer demand,” said Hackett Associates Founder Ben Hackett, in a statement. “Import container shipments have returned the pre-pandemic levels seen in 2019 and appear likely to stay there for a while.”
Retailers and logistics professionals alike are looking to the second half of the year for a potential upswing. Peak shipping season occurs in the summer, which is in preparation for peak shopping season over the holidays.
Yet disruption could occur on the West Coast if labor issues can’t be settled. This week, ports from Los Angeles to Seattle reported closures and slowdowns as ongoing union disputes boil over, CNBC reported. NRF called on the Biden administration to intervene.
“Cargo volume is lower than last year but retailers are entering the busiest shipping season of the year bringing in holiday merchandise. The last thing retailers and other shippers need is ongoing disruption at the ports,” aid NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “If labor and management can’t reach agreement and operate smoothly and efficiently, retailers will have no choice but to continue to take their cargo to East Coast and Gulf Coast gateways. We continue to urge the administration to step in and help the parties reach an agreement and end the disruptions so operations can return to normal. We’ve had enough unavoidable supply chain issues the past two years. This is not the time for one that can be avoided.”