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Instagram rolls out in-app shopping checkout

Instagram Inc. has launched a checkout option for users to buy products without leaving the photo-sharing platform's mobile app.

Users can tap the Checkout on Instagram button on a product page from a shopping post before proceeding to payment. Billing and shipping details will need to be entered on the first checkout, according to a March 19 blog post.

Instagram users will also be able to track their purchases through in-app notifications.

The new feature, which is in closed beta testing for U.S. users, will initially involve retailers such as Adidas AG, H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB, Nike Inc. and Industria de Diseño Textil SA's Zara. Instagram said it will charge merchants a selling fee to offset transaction-related expenses, TechCrunch reported.

Previously, Instagram users would tap the Shop Now link on the product details view to go directly to the business' website and buy a product.

The feature's launch came days after Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Instagram's parent company Facebook Inc., outlined plans to shift toward a focus on encrypted communications rather than public content.