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Instagram Planning to Enter into e-Trade Business, Threatens Amazon Dominance

At present, the sector continues to be dominated by a few big players - mainly China's Alibaba and JD.com and US firms Amazon, eBay and Walmart

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Instagram threatening Amazon with its e-trade plans. Wikimedia Commons

The current dominance in online commerce enjoyed by Amazon could be endangered if Instagram, with its one billion users worldwide, pushes ahead with its plans to enter that space, as its new chief, Adam Mosseri, has said he intends to do.

In his first public interview on the company’s future strategy since taking over at Instagram last October, Mosseri told an English daily that his plan for the firm is to “connect the dots thoughtfully” among shoppers, sellers and what he called Instagram’s huge number of “influencers.”

Mosseri’s idea is for the photo platform, owned by Facebook, to leave behind its mainly visual aspect as a virtual space on which users can show images to other Web surfers to transform itself into a sales portal, the Efe news reported.

Among other things, Mosseri defended introducing at Instagram e-commerce functions like the “shopping bag” – similar to the shopping cart on other Websites – and “native checkout,” where shoppers can purchase goods directly on Instagram without leaving the app.

amazon, instagram, e-trade`
The firm run by Jeff Bezos so far in 2019 has been the online portal that has captured almost half of all virtual transactions in the US, specifically 47 percent, according to eMarketer. VOA

Although proportionately it still represents a small portion of worldwide purchases, e-commerce is growing year by year and in 2018 exceeded $2.86 trillion in sales around the globe, an 18 per cent jump from the previous year, according to figures from Digital Commerce 360.

At present, the sector continues to be dominated by a few big players – mainly China’s Alibaba and JD.com and US firms Amazon, eBay and Walmart.

A decisive push by Instagram into this sector would have few repercussions for Alibaba and JD.com since Instagram, like Facebook, is prohibited from operating in the Asian giant, but Amazon, with its overwhelming dominance in the rest of the world, could suffer.

The firm run by Jeff Bezos so far in 2019 has been the online portal that has captured almost half of all virtual transactions in the US, specifically 47 percent, according to eMarketer.

The photo app, in fact, launched a direct sales pilot program in March, although it is limited to a little over 20 brands – including Zara, Burberry, Michael Kors, Nike, Adidas, Prada, Uniqlo, Dior, Oscar de la Renta and H&M – with payments being processed using PayPal technology.

amazon, imstagram, e-trade
At present, the sector continues to be dominated by a few big players – mainly China’s Alibaba and JD.com and US firms Amazon, eBay and Walmart. VOA

Mosseri said that the firm will still need several years to fully transform itself into a sales venue because building the necessary infrastructure, such as striking agreements with payment service providers in each country where it intends to operate, will take some time.

Mosseri said in his interview that the e-commerce world is extremely fragmented and it will take the firm “5-10 years” to carve out its niche there.

ALSO READ: Software Giant Microsoft Adds New OneDrive Consumer Storage Plans

With its e-commerce plans, the Facebook subsidiary is following in the steps of another Internet giant, Google, which last May announced a redesign of its “Shopping” portal to allow users to buy products directly without having to access sellers’ Web pages.

Up until then, Google’s e-commerce division had been showing users photos and information about different brands of the products they are seeking, but to buy an item users still had to go to the sellers’ Websites. (IANS)

Next Story

Here’s Why Instagram Users Want to ‘Throw Away’ the App Now

However, unlike usually, Instagram has not yet addressed this outage

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Facebook, Messenger and Instagram apps are displayed on an iPhone, March 13, 2019, in New York. VOA

Photo-messaging app Instagram’s users want to “throw away” the app as it suffered a major outage yet again that did not let users from around the world to access the Facebook-owned app.

According to outage reviewing and monitoring website DownDetector’s report on Tuesday, Instagram was hit by the outage just past 10 a.m. PT and it affected users in the US, UK and across Europe.

Fed up with repeated outages, users took to Twitter and reported Instagram’s crash, expressing their frustration.

“How many times are you gonna f*****g do this? I think we should throw @Instagram away #instagramdown,” a user tweeted.

“Man to hell with that Area 51 raid. We are gonna raid @Instagram HQ if they don’t get their shit together #instagramdown,” a tweet read.

“My Instagram is not working and at this point, I’m not even surprised #instagramdown,” another user tweeted.

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FILE – The Instagram icon is displayed on a mobile screen in Los Angeles. VOA

While the hashtag #InstagramDown was trending on Twitter people also made sure they tagged Instagram’s official handle on the posts.

“@Instagram headquarters must see that we are tweeting #InstagramDown for the 12712450th time this year,” a user wrote.

Hong Kong-based social media website 9GAG, famous for its memes and GIFs, tweeted: “If it keeps happening like this, we will run out of GIFs to post! #InstagramDown.”

Also Read: France Expects First 5G Deployment by 2020

Now that the outages are becoming more frequent, its raising concerns amongst people who seem to be considering quitting the app.

However, unlike usually, Instagram has not yet addressed this outage.

Managing a global user-base of over 2.38 billion people, Facebook and its family of apps, including Instagram and WhatsApp, have collectively suffered five major outages in the last four months. Out of all the Facebook’s apps, Instagram has experienced downtime the most. (IANS)