As a fashion medium, Instagram begs the eternal question “where’d you get that?” Start-ups like 52grams are trying to make the photo network more easily shoppable by hosting popular brands and bloggers’ feeds, tagged with labels and links to relevant e-commerce. The service works, but it offers style from pretty particular online personalities. Enter Fashion.gram, which links popular fashion and the places to buy it, from a broad swath of the Instagram universe.
Tobias Dorner, the developer who created the app, explained that “it’s basically two taps from content discovery to the doorstep of the online store where the item is sold.” While Fashion.gram is elegantly simple for its users, it’s a labor-intensive service at the back-end. “We monitor Instagram’s popular feed all day long for fashion-related content, and manually add products when we can determine where they come from. We are pretty strict about adding the original products — not just any ‘umm, that looks almost like it,’” Dorner says.
And in theory, those should be products you’d actually want to see: “Since everything we show in our app has appeared on the popular page of Instagram, we only feature ‘quality’ products — or, to put it differently, products that have been selected by the Instagram community.” Fashion.gram opens with a feed of myriad women’s styles (original plans included men’s wear, but “due to the lack of popular men’s looks, we’re pretty much going with mostly women only, for now”) which you can filter by clothing/accessory type.
The app shows prices in the currency used by an item’s particular origin site. One indirect benefit — the program is a pretty good e-commerce discovery tool. During a recent perusal, Fashion.gram linked us to some clothing sites we’d definitely never seen before. And as a general gateway to mobile commerce, Fashion.gram is a great tool — it’s almost too easy to click through to buy.
The app, which is free, is available in iOS (the Android version is on its way) for the iPhone and iPad.