Following the first-time launch of New Balance and Joe Freshgoods 9060 silhouettes on Instagram Shopping, Meta director of product management Layla Amjadi took to Instagram stories where she stated the launch was the largest ever on the platform’s history. “Biggest drop in Ig history,” she wrote, in a post tagging Joe Freshgoods (real name Joe Robinson) along with head of Instagram streetwear and sneaker partnerships Dennis Todisco and Aditi Banga, head of Instagram shopping partnerships.
The launch was originally slated to drop on March 17, 2022, but was rescheduled to March 18th after a crush of traffic caused the app’s order processor to crash. The following day, the two sneakers were relaunched in what at first appeared to be a smooth process, followed by large numbers of people on social media claiming they landed pairs.
The celebration, however, was short lived. The following day, multiple users on Twitter noted their Joe Freshgoods shoe orders had been cancelled. The number of complaints was enough for popular sneaker account @snkr_twitr to make note. Under the account’s tweet, one user uploaded an email she received from Instagram canceling her order. The note read in part, “Unfortunately your order was canceled because the volume of interest for this item was incredible.” The email added, “We want to reach out personally and apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. We are actively working to make the purchase process better for people who come to Instagram to shop.”
Over the past several years, designers and boutiques selling limited edition product have been searching for ways to drop limited edition items that eliminate or severely limit bots. Shopify offers bot protection but as was pointed out by Twitter user @sneakerphetish, the platform charges an extra $2,000/month for access, which is not a small amount for a small independent business.
With its growing focus on shopping, Instagram would no doubt would love to have a piece of the sneaker drop business, which is attractive not only because it brings sales to the platform but also because it draws back the young customer who’s abandoned the app for TikTok. However, based on Instagram’s Joe Freshgood’s launch, it looks like the app has a ways to go before it’s able to handle a high heat sneaker launch.
Just seen quite a few orders were cancelled 😱 pic.twitter.com/GE8oXAw2yM— SNKR_TWITR (@snkr_twitr) May 20, 2022
More then a few. At least I got a lovely apology email. pic.twitter.com/jQj80rMH2s— Amanda Huebsch (@huebsch_amanda) May 20, 2022