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Should Instagram Let Fashion Bloggers Link to Sales Sites?

shutterstock_158730779Just as the first Instagram ad hit us in the form of a Michael Kors watch, many of the fashion bloggers who provide so much of the platform’s content asked “Wait, why can’t I do that?

PR may be asking the same question: why does Instagram still prohibit users from including links so followers can buy the products they highlight? It would make the give-and-take between designers and bloggers even more significant.

CEO Kevin Systrom told London Fashion Week attendees that he could see his company becoming a fashion commerce platform at some point, nothing that it’s already a great marketing tool for fashion brands—but then he waffled a bit. Here’s a key quote:

“If Instagram were full of commerce and there were ‘Buy now!’ links everywhere and that’s all you ever had, I don’t think it would get to the true spirit of communication.”

So Systrom sees Instagram as a comms tool rather than a sales tool but clearly allows for some flexibility on what he calls “the balance” between art and commerce. We get it, but we have a feeling that all four parties involved in the fashion chain would disagree: the shoppers, the bloggers, the brands and the firms representing them.

And yes, the guy is already rich—but don’t tell us he’s not jealous of Pinterest‘s ability to separate people from their money…

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