Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
Instagram still has a lot way to go before it’s a truly shoppable platform, but piece by piece, things have begun to improve. The social app launched its own native shoppable feature this past November that allows brands to tag products and their prices, but it’s far from perfect.
For now, that means the door is wide open for other companies to game the system. There is, of course, LiketoKnowIt, and now, there’s Geenee: a new app that allows Instagram users to identify products on participating accounts within seconds just by taking a screenshot and tapping on a notification.
The app essentially allows users to shop the exact item featured in a post (or in some cases, something similar) as well as save it for outfit inspiration. Once downloaded, Geenee runs in the background; screenshotting a post in Instagram sends a push notification that, once tapped, takes you off IG and into the Geenee app, where you’ll be able to see each product with links to buy them.
Just like Shazam uses sound recognition to identify a song, Geenee uses patented image recognition technology to determine the corresponding brand and where you can shop each item.
The catch: Instagram users need to be signed up with Geenee in order for you to be able to get their outfit details from the screenshot. But joining the influencer database is easy — all that’s required to start earning commissions is a profile set up in Geenee’s database, unlike LiketoKnowIt, which uses a referral system.
There are already hundreds of Instagrammers in its database that you can browse directly in the app, including big names like Song of Style, Chiara Ferragni, Man Repeller, and Alexis Ren. The whole Kardashian/Jenner clan, Beyoncé, and Rihanna have also recently been added. Brands like Brandy Melville are also getting in on the action.
The business models of the current shopping apps will most likely change as Instagram continues to tweak its shoppability features. But until then, Geenee’s innovative and efficient “screenshop” technology is another step towards improving the shoppability of Instagram and eliminating outfit FOMO.