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What it would look like to shop on Instagram Explore. Photo: Instagram

It's about to get a lot easier to shop on Instagram, with new features that'll allow you to succumb to your impulses with just a few clicks.

Why it matters: The updates could help Instagram gather insights and data to help launch a standalone shopping app, something it's reportedly working on.

What's new: Instagram will now let users buy things with Instagram "Stories," or vertical strings of video and text that are becoming one of the most successful social media formats.

  • It's also creating a new, personalized channel for users within its discovery section called "Explore" that's specifically for users to follow brands for shopping.
  • Vishal Shah, director of product management at Instagram, said at Recode's Code Commerce Monday that the new offerings will allow users to shop in two different ways on the platform: 1) Serendipitous shopping through stories and feeds and 2) Intentional, window shopping through "Explore."

One player that stands to benefit from Instagram's additions is Shopify, the $16.5 billion e-commerce company that powers brands from Kylie Cosmetics to Allbirds. Many of the brands that advertise and make sales through Instagram ads run their stores through Shopify, and the company is betting that Instagram's new shopping integrations will increase traffic to its merchants.

The big picture: Instagram and other social media apps are becoming disruptive e-commerce players, mainly because they are able to leverage social data to better understand and cater to users' interests, as Axios has previously noted.

  • The Facebook-owned social giant says that more than 90 Instagram million accounts tap to reveal tags in shopping posts on Instagram every month. That's over 10% of its 1 million users.

Editor's note: This article has been updated to reflect Instagram's most recent user count of 1 billion.

Go deeper

Schumer: Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

Why it matters: Trump is the only president in U.S. history to be impeached twice. The House voted to impeach the former president on Jan. 13 on a single charge: incitement of insurrection for the Jan. 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol, which resulted in five deaths.

1 hour ago - Health

CDC extends interval between COVID vaccine doses for exceptional cases

Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty

Patients can space out the two doses of the coronavirus vaccine by up to six weeks if it’s "not feasible" to follow the shorter recommended window, according to updated guidance from the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention.

Driving the news: With the prospect of vaccine shortages and a low likelihood that supply will expand before April, the latest changes could provide a path to vaccinate more Americans — a top priority for President Biden.

Texas AG sues Biden administration over deportation freeze

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks to members of the media in 2016. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is suing the Biden administration in federal district court over its 100-day freeze on deporting unauthorized immigrants, and he's asking for a temporary restraining order.

Between the lines: The freeze went into effect Friday, temporarily halting most immigration enforcement in the U.S. In the lawsuit, Paxton claims the move "violates the U.S. Constitution, federal immigration and administrative law, and a contractual agreement between Texas" and the Department of Homeland Security.