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Instagram shopping takes off in Korea

By Ahn Sung-mi

  • Published : May 7, 2019 - 16:14
  • Updated : May 7, 2019 - 16:14

More than 1 out of 3 Instagram users in South Korea purchased products via the social media platform, according to a recent survey released Tuesday.

Instagram surveyed 21,000 people between the ages of 13 and 64, from 13 countries. Of the 2,000 respondents in Korea, about 35 percent said they had made at least one purchase after seeing a new product or service on the platform.

That figure is still lower than the global average of 46 percent. But Jim Squires, Instagram’s head of business, expressed high hopes of stimulating further growth in Korea, saying it’s one of the trendiest and most important markets.

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Instagram Vice President Jim Squires speaks at a press conference in Seoul.

“Koreans are increasingly using Instagram to express themselves, explore their interests and show their favorite brands,” Squires said at a press conference in Seoul. “We are committed to building the best experience for people to connect in a safe way and for businesses to tap on a world of interests on Instagram.”

According to the survey, 85 percent of Korean users search for information about products on the platform when they go shopping, while 63 percent visit brand websites or apps via linked Instagram accounts.

The Instagram business chief declined to give the exact number of users in the Korean market but he said, citing the survey, that 51 percent of Korean users use Instagram more now than they did a year ago.

He emphasized the importance of brand activity on the platform. Calling it the “halo effect,” consumers perceive brands that are on the platform as popular, informative and entertaining.

By Ahn Sung-mi (sahn@heraldcorp.com)