This post originally appeared on March 19, 2019, in Add to Cart — the weekly newsletter for people who love shopping (almost) as much as they love eating. Subscribe now.
On Saturday night, on my way home from a delightful party with rather undelightful wine, I found myself scrolling through Instagram, inspired to bring better wine into my life. I found an online seller called Primal; it looked nice and had a decent number of followers, one of whom, Instagram kindly informed me, is a coworker. I managed to order two bottles of wine before my Lyft pulled to a stop — but only with a bunch of fumbling, multiple browser windows, and a glance at my physical credit card.
We’ve all gotten used to bumpy online checkout processes. But today, in what qualifies as major shopping news — and a reminder that crappy online experiences don’t have to be so crappy — Facebook announced you can now buy things directly on Instagram. Instead of being redirected to a browser window when you tap on a product, you’ll see a big blue button. Tap “Checkout on Instagram”; input your email, shipping details, and payment information; and voila, you’ve placed your order without ever leaving Instagram.
It seems like a feature that should’ve existed years ago. For many people, Instagram functions like a more engaging Google, where search results come with better photos and validation from friends (and recommendations creepily informed by what you’ve been Googling). And just as I’m more likely to pick a brunch place based on what my coworkers are tagging rather than on random searching, I’m more likely to buy things based on what my friends are liking (or based on what looks particularly enticing on my “Explore” tab — the ultimate window shopping).
Which makes seamless shopping via Instagram a welcome, if not monumental, change. The capability is currently limited to certain fashion and beauty brands, like Nike, Warby Parker, H&M, and Oscar de la Renta (please tell me who is buying Oscar de la Renta via Instagram). But if Instagram expands it, which seems inevitable, friction-free, impulse-friendly wine shopping could be in our futures.
Things to buy
- This perfect Goldie sweatshirt shouts out the Philly falafel shop with vintage college vibes.
- Despite recently receiving a very legit food processor as a wedding gift, I find myself still turning to the Ninja Food Chopper Express Chop, which gets the job done as well but is vastly easier to clean, store (in tiny city kitchen cabinets!), and generally manhandle.
- If you, like me, spent the weekend watching Queer Eye and sobbing softly into a throw blanket over the sheer goodness of humanity, you might also be interested to know that Jones Bar-B-Q sauce, created by the “heroes” of Episode 3, the Jones sisters, is now available online. “As of yesterday morning, we sold 11,000 bottles. We averaged 1.7 bottles per minute this weekend,” the newly famous biz shared with fans.
- A very underrated cooking tool: really comfortable socks. For a chef-approved pair, splurge on Cook Life socks by True Cooks.
Things to know
- New York’s just-unveiled Hudson Yards, an embarrassing modern temple to luxury and inaccessibility, is really just a seven-story mall and as such has an extremely extensive food court. Eater NY has an exhaustive rundown (complete with a liveblog and an Instagram adventure) of the good, the bad, and the absurd of the dining options.
- Pyrex is a mainstay in millions of American kitchens, including my own, and yet I somehow missed the controversy over exploding Pyrex glass. The tl;dr: It’s probably still fine to use, but maybe be careful?
- Interested in another semi-expensive kitchen appliance that you’ll get approximately four uses out of before it starts gathering dust? This just in, from the Wall Street Journal: “White Russian in a Pod? Budweiser Maker Pushes K-Cup Machine for Cocktails.” FWIW, previous versions of this have all been disasters.
- Christmas came late this year with the March arrival of Deadspin’s annual Hater’s Guide to the Williams-Sonoma Catalog. With lines like “This toffee tin may as well read HEY, MARY LOUISE! EAT SHIT!” it was well worth the wait.
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